Accident Database

Report ID# 3302

  • Impact/Trauma
  • Spinal Injury
  • Other

Accident Description

Kayaker injured at Hooker Falls

Published: Wednesday, March 24, 2010 at 4:30 a.m.  

 A 21-year-old woman was injured while kayaking over Hooker Falls on Tuesday afternoon, the DuPont State Forest Office told WSPA Newschannel 7. The woman, whose name has not been released, was with a group from Ohio that was spending the day kayaking around the falls, according to a release. She was injured when her kayak went over the falls and overturned. Rescue units pulled her from the water and transported her to a landing area, where she was flown to Greenville Memorial Hospital. She was conscious and alert when she left the scene, but complaining of back pain. Hooker Falls is in the DuPont State Forest in Transylvania County.

Kayaker in Hooker Falls accident near Brevard injured spine
By Jonathan Walczak  March 25, 2010
BREVARD - Nathan Silsbee once plunged 55 feet over the side of a waterfall in his kayak. While that may seem shocking to some, it really isn't that uncommon, said Silsbee, a UNC Asheville senior. "The world record is 186 feet, and that got broken in 2009," he said. "People are running bigger and bigger falls."
That makes a woman's 12-foot kayak plunge over Hooker Falls near Brevard not as daredevilish as it might seem. She suffered a spinal injury after hitting the bottom of the falls Tuesday, but is expected to make a full recovery.
Daniel Day Lewis immortalized the falls in the 1992 movie "Last of the Mohicans" when his character rode over them in a canoe.
The woman, a 21-year-old student at Ohio University, was released from Greenville Memorial Hospital in South Carolina late Tuesday night, said David Brown, DuPont State Forest supervisor. "She had a fractured vertebra in her lower spine, but they think she's going to be fine," Brown said Wednesday. "They put a brace on her that limits her range of motion, but she's up and walking."
The woman, who Brown declined to identify, was with a group of eight kayakers on a spring break trip. "She made one successful run, and on her second run, she came down too abruptly," Brown said. "She didn't shoot over the falls far enough and hit a rock at the base of the falls."Hooker Falls is about 12 feet high, Brown said. The forest doesn't get too many kayakers on the Little River, he said.
Silsbee, who has gone over the waterfall, called it a relatively easy and safe. A semi-pro kayaker who has been engaged in the sport for seven years, Silsbee said he had to temporarily give it up because of back injuries. "Anything above 15 feet, technically if you land flat, you can potentially hurt your back," said Silsbee, who is seeing a chiropractor. "It really depends how deep it is."

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