RAFTER DROWNS ON PAYETTE RIVER
South Fork "Staircase Section" near Garden Valley, ID: July 3, 1995
DESCRIPTION: The South Fork of the Payette is a magnificent whitewater river north of Boise, Idaho. This accident occurred on July 3 in the "Staircase Section", a popular class III run. The victim, Anna Korstad, 18, was running with some friends in a 14 foot raft. The group entered Dogleg Rapid, a tight turn up against a log, only to find another raft eddied out and partly blocking their route through the rapid. They tried to slow down, but were forced up against the log by the current and flipped. The victim apparently got caught in the perimeter line and drowned before the raft could be righted.
SOURCE: NORS Currents
ANALYSIS: Perimeter lines have been implicated in numerous fatalities. Many companies have chosen to replace them entirely with handles. If you chose to use one, it should be kept tight to minimize entanglement danger. Many West Virginia guides use 1" tubular webbing, pulled tight and twisted slightly to allow a hand to pass under easily.