Accident Database

Report ID# 21

  • Swim into Rock or Sieve
  • Does not Apply
  • Other

Accident Description

The Middle Fork of the Salmon is a large-volume wilderness river popular for extended trips. Larry Barkdale, 48, was a former ptrofessional guide paddling with his wife in an open canoe. The pair were on the final day of an eight day trip. They had run Weber Rapid and were navigating the swift runout when the boat capsized in tricky currents. As they were swimming their boat to shore Barkdale became trapped in a large rock with a crevice in it that created a deadly sieve. He cried out for help before dissapearing underwater. His group worked for over an hour to free him before sending for help. Forest Service personnel eventually recovered the body.This dangerous spot was not known to paddlers on this popular river, pointing out that even familiar places may contain unexpected hazards.

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