Accident Database

Report ID# 30

  • Pinned in Boat against Rock or Sieve
  • Does not Apply
  • Other

Accident Description

On Sunday, April 22th there was a death on a Class II section of the Middle Fork of the Feather River. Al McManus, a new paddler, was with a group of beginners from the Sierra Nevada Whitewater Club. There is one rapid at Carmack Mine that's harder than the others. The group pulled into a large eddy where the rapid could be easily seen. They were warned about a large rock in the center where most of the flow was going. They were given an opportunity to walk the rapid and two of them did.

One paddler ran, hit the rock, and swam. As the experienced paddlers were getting him ashore they saw Mr. McManus enter the rapid. He made no attempt to avoid the rock. He hit sideways, flipped upstream, and disapeared. The tripleaders grabbed rescue gear and ran to the rock along the shore, but saw no sign of the pinned boat. Then one of the leaders swam out to  the eddy behind the rock and with great difficulty attached a rope to the grab loop of the pinned boat. It took all eight men to pull the boat free. They grabbed Mr. McManus and started CPR at once, then two kayaks were rafted together to get the him across to the side of the river where the road ran. An ambulance arrived and transported him to Quincy Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The rescue took 7-10 minutes, not fast enough as it turned out.

Source: Charlie Albright, Reno, Nevada

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