Accident Database

Report ID# 227

  • PFD Not Worn or Present
  • Hypothermia
  • Inexperience
  • One Boat Trip

Accident Description


Carrabasset River near North Anson, ME : April 26, 1992

DESCRIPTION: The Carrabasset River in Northern Maine has some good intermediate whitewater, but the stretch near North Anson has a few mild rapids and an "impassable gorge" in town. Patricia Faticanti, who had never canoed before, was paddling with her husband when they flipped in some rapids. Although they were carrying two seat cushions as required by state law, there wore no life jackets or cold weather protection. He was able to swim to shore, but she could not. The husband was treated for hypothermia at a local hospital and released. Her body was found the next morning, miles downriver, by a Navy helicopter.

SOURCE: Boston Globe sent by Tom Christopher; Small Craft Advisory

ANALYSIS: The pair was inexperienced and poorly equipped, a deadly combination for trying early-season whitewater. Given the fast current and icy water the outcome was almost inevitable, and the remaining paddler was lucky to survive.

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