Accident Database

Report ID# 3259

  • Foot Entrapment
  • Impact/Trauma
  • Physical Trauma
  • Other

Accident Description

Mr Stephane Hamel, from Mirabel, Québec, Canada, is an experienced OC2 (>30yrs paddling), but new to OC-1 paddling. On one of his first outings in a solo boat occurred on September 12th, 2009. This was on the Canyon section of the Rivière Rouge in Québec, Canada - a class III section of a river he knew well, at low flow conditions (40 m3/s = 1400 cfs).

Mr. Hamel  was wearing a PFD and was well aware of usual safety measures, including how to safely swim a rapid.  He flipped unexpectedly in the first drop of this section, a rocky Class III, while  eddying out, could not roll. After he bailed out he got his left foot stuck in between rocks. Fortunately his foot was immediately released after being fractured. On shore, Stephane performed a temporary closed reduction on himself (ouch!) as his foot was badly out of anatomic position.

Evacuation out of the river to the nearest hospital was swift, as the put-in is a short flat section upstream of that rapid, and he was part of an experienced and resourceful team. This situation could have been catastrophic would his foot not have been released from the riverbed, with potential for drowning and difficult rescue conditions.

Martin Talbot

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