Accident Database

Report ID# 115996

  • Health Problem
  • Heart Attack / Heart Failure
  • Cold Water

Accident Description

This incident occured in a minor rapid during the final stretch of the Hudson River Gorge. This is where paddlers are typically floating toward the take-out, well after all of the big whitewater rapids. The subject was an experienced raft guide from western New York. He had on a wetsuit, helmet, and PFD. This was a private trip, although the raft was guided by a licensed and experienced local guide. The raft hit a rock, ejecting the subject and two others. The subject became unconscious while in the water. He was brought back into the raft, and was reported to be unresponsive, no pulse, no repirations. CPR was commenced and 911 was called. The subject was transfered to a Johnsburg EMS ambulance at Barton Mines. An experienced paramedic worked on the subject while transporting him to Glens Falls hospital, but the subject did not recover. The coroner determined that the cause of death was cardiac arrest, probably due to Cold Shock Response from the sudden immersion in the cold water. It is not known whether the subject had a pre-existing cardiac condition. No other injuries were reported.

River leve wasl 5.6 @ North Creek. Brutally cold day! This was a trainee trip for some Hudson River guides. The incident happened below Bus Stop--last rapid of any significance--in 3 miles of class 1-2 run out.  The raft hit a rock and several people fell out.  One of them hit the water and became unresponsive.  He was pulled in without delay and CPR was done.  Definitely not a flush drowning; a heart attack is suspected.


Man Dies during Rafting Trip on Hudson River

Glen Falls, NY POST-STAR

INDIAN LAKE — A 45-year-old man from Madison County lost his life on Saturday while on a guided rafting trip on the Hudson River in the town of Indian Lake in Hamilton County. According to state police, Samuel M. Martin was on a guided rafting trip on the Hudson River when he was ejected from the raft. Martin was pulled back into the boat but was unresponsive, police said. 

State police and local EMS arrived at the scene around 1:32 p.m. Saturday at Barton Mines on Hudson River Plant Road in Indian Lake. Medical treatment was unsuccessful and Martin was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.  In a preliminary investigation, police discovered that Martin had been wearing appropriate gear: a safety helmet and a life preserver. Police said the case is still open and the investigation is ongoing. 



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