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Accident Description

Bob Taylor was running the Upper Gauley with four friends on August 27, 1977. The level was 2700 from the dam, 400 from the Meadow River, Bob was in his late 20s, very fit, and quite familiar with the Gauley. He was probably the best paddler in West Virginia. In the third drop of Lost Paddle Bob elected to surf the holes. He got pummelled in the second, which is quite large. He flipped, rolled, endered, and rolled again. After his third flip he bailed out. He recirculated twice in the hole, then washed downstream. One other paddler attempted a boat rescue, but after holding on for a short time Bob let go of the boat and attempted to swim into a river left eddy. He was washed into a chute on the upper left side of Tumblehome Rapid where he disappeared. His companions coulds not find him that day, so they paddled out and reported the accident to authorites. The next day, with the river running at 2100 cfs, they returned with WVDNR Officers. After a lengthy search they spotted his body under several feet of water in the chute. They were able to pull a log out of the chute, which released the body.