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Accident Database: Accident #22248

Date: 2017-10-14
Victim: Unidentified Man
Victim Age:
River: Gauley (7
Reach #:
Section: 7 (Upper). Summersville Dam to Mason Branch
Location: Initiation Rapid - left side
Gauge: 2800 cfs
Water Level: Medium
River Difficulty: IV
Cause Code(s):
Injury Type(s):
Factors Code(s):
Experienced/Inexperienced: Some Experience
Private/Commercial: Private
Boat Type: Whitewater Kayak
Group Info:
Other Victim Names:
Detailed Description:

While we were BWOBin' on the Upper Gauley during the recent tour - we were involved in this rescue. The video has been edited and shortened significantly - in reality, we were on the rock for some 15min... and the kayaker was stuck in there for at least another 5min before we managed to scramble back upstream and get to him.

I'm very glad we were there fast enough and were able to help out. Mad props to Eric and Mike and everyone else out on those rocks that day.

The rescuers used a slick rope system that’s worth seeing!

Go to https://www.facebook.com/african.river.rat/videos/1256292557850175/.

Better yet: stay away from the right side of Initiation Rapid when you run the Gauley! An innocuous looking chute flows over a crack between two giant rocks. Paddlers who go over there are flushed into the crack and pinned in their boat against a chock rock partly down. There have been two fatalities an innumerable narrow escapes here over the last three decades!


Report Status:
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User Comments

Users can submit comments.
April 1 2018 (256 days ago)
Maribo (159825)
He meant stay away from the right. You can clearly see in the video that the hazard is on
river-right of the flow.
February 26 2018 (290 days ago)
flippinthompson (159118)
You said to stay away from the left side... But the rapid descriptions indicate that you are
supposed to run the rapid on the left... Are you referring to the river right side? That's where
the description indicates this potentially fatal hazard is located. Just curious.