Accident Database

Report ID# 1149

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  • Impact/Trauma
  • Head Injury / Concussion
  • Other

Accident Description

Injured Kayaker Marooned in Canyon  

            An injured kayaker trapped for more than eleven hours on rocks in a steep StanislausRiver canyon near Knight’s Ferry, California , was rescued by a Medivac helicopter. John Guy, 28, was evacuated by air ambulance at 1:30 AM on July 25, 1998.

            Guy and a male companion were kayaking on the StanislausRiver at about 2 PM when Guy’s kayak flipped, resulting in serious injuries to his head and torso. His companion helped the injured man to the rocks on the north side of the river. Guy crawled to shore and waited while his friend went for help.

            The Tuolumne County Search and Rescue Team, Oakdale firefighters and the US Arm Corps of Engineers joined in the search, but couldn’t get to Guy because of steep canyon walls and thick vegetation. As darkness fell, two medivac helicopters joined the search. The crews circled the area east of Knight’s Ferry and located the kayaker. One crew landed its helicopter on a canyon wall ledge, where a paramedic climbed about 150 feet down the ravine over large boulders to reach the victim. The second crew circled the rescue site and used its high intensity light in illuminate the canyon as he made his climb. After located the injured man, the paramedic secured him to a gurney. The crew hoisted the victim up the canyon wall to where the helicopter had landed. Guy was then flown to Modesto hospital for emergency treatment.

Source: The Sacramento Bee

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