Accident Database

Report ID# 255

  • Flush Drowning
  • Does not Apply
  • One Boat Trip

Accident Description


Dead Diamond River near Erroll, NH: June 6, 1994

DESCRIPTION: An afternoon trip on the rain-swollen Dead Diamond River in northern New Hampshire turned deadly on Tuesday, June 6. A Massachussets father-daughter pair  planned a two-mile downstream paddle back to the cabin where they were staying. The fast current carried them into Hells Gate Gorge, a challenging stretch of whitewater that they had no plans to run. They were pulled into the gorge around

4:30 PM

. The canoe flipped. The daughter made it to shore, but the father, Kenneth Nicholson, 70, did not. She made it out to a lightly-travelled dirt road where she flagged down some fishermen. Nicholson was recovered about an hour later. Because it was a cold-water drowning, the Errol, NH rescue squad began CPR and continued it until they reached the hospital. He was pronounced dead at

9:00 PM.

SOURCE: Manchester Union Leader via Thomas Quarles, AMC

ANALYSIS: The pair's inexperience resulted in a lack of appreciation of high water danger and an inability to control their boat. 




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