Accident Database

Report ID# 2331

  • Flush Drowning
  • Does not Apply
  • Solo Paddling

Accident Description

 Kayaker apparently drowns in Nantahala Thursday,
June 7, 2007 8:47 AM EDT By Pete Lawson, Smokey Mountain Times Staff

A 71-year-old Blairsville, Ga. resident drowned while kayaking in the Nantahala River Friday. According to Sgt. Jason Gardner of the Swain County Sheriff's Office, A.C. Phillips was boating alone when the incident occurred. Gardner said Hunter Edwards of Rome, Ga. spotted an empty kayak floating down through the rapids of Patton's Run near the Swain/Macon County line. Edwards was informed that there was also a body in the river, and he waded upstream and pulled Phillips to shore. The victim was wearing flotation gear, responders said.

A call was placed to Swain County E911 at 11:45 a.m., and the Sheriff's Office, EMS and Rescue Squad, along with the Macon County EMS and Nantahala Rescue Squad responded. Dr. David Zimmerman of Swain Medical Associates at Swain County Hospital advised the Sheriff's Office that drowning was the likely cause of death, Gardner said. The responders were able to quickly identify the victim through a slip issued to him by the U.S. Forest Service and through his vehicle registration.

The Forest Service maintains a popular river put-in area which is in Macon County just upstream from Patton's Run. In July 2004, a boater drowned in the same section of river when his right knee became entangled between two rocks in seven feet of water while he was attempting to dislodge his craft.

See Times article.

Join AW and support river stewardship nationwide!