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.