Accident Database

Report ID# 16

  • Pinned in Boat against Rock or Sieve
  • PFD Fell Off
  • Does not Apply
  • Failed Rescue

Accident Description

Initiation Rapid contains a dangerous hidden trap that has been responsible for one other death and dozens of narrow escapes in the last two decades. People are often lured there by a well-formed surfing wave which, when caught, carries them over into harm's way. The best way to avoid trouble at Initiation Rapid is to run center-left, and to stay clear of the right side. Kayaker Bob O'Connor was pushed unto the crack between two large rocks and pinned on a chock rock part way down. Despire active rescue attemptes he washed through the suckhole and drowned.

The rescue attempt was competent and courageous. A rescue life vest with a harness like the one Walker used could have made a difference if it has been available earlier. Unfortunately these devices were not available in the United States in 1982. Deliberately pushing someone through a suckhole is clearly a last resort. These areas often contain hidden hazards and someone could get hung up under water. In this case it seemed like a reasonable option.



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