Accident Database

Report ID# 3262

  • Caught in a Natural Hydraulic
  • PFD Fell Off
  • Does not Apply
  • High Water

Accident Description

Arkansas man drowns kayaking Mountain Fork River near Broken Bow


Published: October 22, 2009

BROKEN BOW - An Arkansas man drowned after a kayak he was rowing got stuck on the Mountain Fork River on Thursday. Bobby Ray Bohn Jr., 46, of Texarkana, Ark., was on the river near Presbyterian Falls east of Broken Bow at 5:30 p.m. when his kayak got caught in the hydraulics of the falls, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol said. Bohn removed his helmet and life jacket to try to free himself and went under for an undetermined amount of time before a witness pulled him to the shore, troopers said.

AW River Description: Presbyterian Falls (Class II, Mile 1.3) River wide ledge with 3 foot drop. Popular summer hangout. Run it down the middle. Parking available to access this feature. Portage trail on river left runs the entire length of the chute to access the top of the chute. From the end of the portage trail at the top of the chute you can also paddle upriver on relatively flat water 500 feet or so to access the Ledges. Note - Keeper hydraulic forms at the falls at levels somewhere between 2000-4000 CFS. River was running 10,000 cfs on October 22, 2009

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Photos of the drop: 








Bobby Ray Bohn Jr., 46, of Texarkana, Ark., died Thursday, Oct. 22, 2009, in Oklahoma in a kayaking accident. Mr. Bohn was born Aug. 26, 1963, in Texarkana, Texas. He was employed with Domtar Indus-tries, formerly employed with Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., a member of Arkansas Canoe Club and Arkansas Officials Association and a volunteer with Texarkana Soccer Association. Survivors include his wife, Kristi Bowley Bohn of Texarkana; two sons, Alexander F. Bohn and Christopher Bohn of Texarkana; his parents, Ella and Bill Ross of Diamond City, Ark., and Bobby Sr.

Accident Report

Victim:  Bobby Ray Bohn

Venue:              Mountain Fork River

Location:            Broken Bow OK

Date:                October 22 2009

Time:                5:30 PM

At around 5:30 PM on October 22 2009 Bobby Bohn and an unidentified individual were kayaking the Mountain Fork River below Broken Bow Lake.  Even thought the river is dam controlled it was at an unusually high level due to recent rains.  Bobby was an experienced Class IV kayaker but had a less experience boater with him and had opted to paddle the normally Class II Mountain Fork because the more difficult rivers in the area were too high to boat safely.  There is one difficult rapid on this section of river know as Presbyterian Falls.  The details on how or why Bobby got in the hole at the Falls are unknown but the hydraulic was terminal.  After several roll attempts Bobby swam out of his boat but was unable to escape and drowned.  Bobby was wearing a PFD and helmet while he was boating but the PFD was apparently missing when he came out of the hole.


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