Accident Database

Report ID# 355

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  • Pinned in Boat Against Strainer
  • Does not Apply
  • One Boat Trip

Accident Description

STRAINER CATCHES RAFT, KILLS WOMAN

Marsh Creek, Central Idaho: June 30, 1993

Gradient: 54 fpm; Volume unknown; Classification: III

DESCRIPTION: Marsh Creek, in the headwaters of the Middle Fork of the Salmon, is often used as an early-season approach to the river. It is a continuous Class III run notorious for logjams in its braided channel. On June 30, 1993 Cynthia Westfall, 40, was riding in a 15 foot oar-powered raft when it broadsided on a log jam. One tube was sucked underwater and Westfall was pulled out. She may have been held for a time underneath the strainer before being carried downstream. She was recovered, still in her life vest, and pronounced dead from drowning.

SOURCE: NORS Currents

ANALYSIS: Strainers are very dangerous to boaters pinned upstream. Rafters broadsiding on them are advised to jump onto the logs immediately to avoid being swept underneath them.

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