Accident Database

Report ID# 33579

  • Swim into Rock or Sieve
  • Shoulder Dislocation
  • Inexperience

Accident Description

The first Winnepesaukee river festival was held June 22-24, with vendors, camping, paddling, downriver races and live music. Our group drove up from MIT on Saturday June 22 and initially put on to the Upper Winnepesaukee river (Class I-II) at approximately 10:30am for a warm-up lap. After the class II, the leaders and Javier Anadon decided that Javier would not run the class III lower section as he was having trouble controlling his boat and could not roll. The remainder of the group put on to the Lower Winnepesaukee (Class III) at approximately 1:00 pm. The first 2 rapids, the group practiced ferries and eddy turns, and had a couple of participants roll, including Jarrah, who successfully hit his first combat roll. 

Upon reaching the first class III rapid, Coliseum, the group got out of the boats and scouted. The leaders explained the desired line, an S-turn initially to the left and then curving back to the right. The group was split into 2 teams, with Adam leading the first group along with Ben Varick as sweep. In this group were Eric Beecher, Michael Reiche, and Jarrah Bergeron. Adam went first and caught an eddy on river left just below the rapid. Jarrah was 4th in line and cut to the right a bit too soon. He hit some waves, flipped and attempted to roll twice. He then wet exited. Adam was directly downstream and guided Jarrah into an eddy on river left, while Ben gathered the kayak. Jarrah sat on the river bank and complained of right shoulder pain. Adam and Ben, both with wilderness medical training, assessed that there was no head injury or other trauma, the participant retained feeling and movement in his right hand and fingers.

While the rest of the group continued down the river without further incident, Adam hiked out to the put-in with Jarrah, approximately 0.3 miles, and drove to the Franklin NH hospital, 5 minutes away. Jarrah was diagnosed with an anterior shoulder dislocation and the shoulder was reduced with aid of anesthetic. Jarrah had a previous partially torn labrum in his right shoulder from rock climbing and was being treated by an ortho less than 1 month prior to this event. Jarrah was dropped off at his house under care of his roommates later that evening.

Join AW and support river stewardship nationwide!