Date
Victim
Victim Age
River
Section
Location
Gage
Water Level
Difficulty
Cause
Cause Code(s)
Injury Type(s)
Factors Code(s)
Private/Commercial
Boat Type
Group Info
Other Victim Names
Status

Accident Description


The company, Zephyr Whitewater Expeditions, is a very experienced outfitter. The victim was in a raft with four guests and a guide who was manning an oar rig. The raft had a good line at Clavey Falls then hit the fan rock at the bottom. This happens often and just makes for a bumpy ride. When the raft hit the fan rock, it wrapped and pinned instantly. This had never happened before. Everyone in the boat swam. The victim fell in on the upstream side and got pinned under the raft.  No one jumped in on purpose.  The guide somehow swam back to the boat from the eddy (an impossible feat to most of us) and worked tirelessly to save his guest from under the boat while working with guides and kayakers on shore.  

Sausalito woman dies in rafting accident on Tuolumne River

Bay City News Service

Posted: 08/01/2012

A 41-year-old Sausalito woman died Tuesday on the start of a three-day rafting trip with her husband when they hit unexpectedly fast rapids on the Tuolumne River, a Tuolumne County Sheriff's sergeant said. Around 1:30 p.m. Mariati Tani, her husband, two other family members and a river guide were rafting down the river when the raft encountered an unexpected Class 5 rapid and became lodged on a rock, sheriff's Sgt. Jeff Wilson said. Most of the party was ejected from the raft and Tani became pinned under the water and raft. She was submerged for 10 minutes before the guide could free her, Wilson said. She was pronounced dead after 30 minutes of CPR efforts could not revive her. A California High Patrol helicopter was called in to bring her and her husband to Pine Mountain Lake Airport in Groveland where they met with sheriff's officials, Wilson said.According to Wilson, river water levels fluctuate and are unpredictable. Class 4 rapids are usually found along the rafting route, he said. "You normally don't see that type of condition," Wilson said. Wilson said the rafting companies work hard to host successful trips, but, "Let's face it, it's dangerous," he said. Tani's husband had been on several previous rafting trips and this was the first day of the family's three-day trip down the river, Wilson said.

 


Tuolumne at safe level, rafting firm says after fatality

By John Holland 
jholland@modbee.com
 

GROVELAND -- Tuesday's fatal rafting accident on the Tuolumne River was not caused by a change in flow from an upstream powerhouse, spokesmen for the rafting company and San Francisco said Thursday.

The river was at a level that appeared safe for rafting when the accident happened, said Bob Ferguson, president of Zephyr River Expeditions in Columbia. Initial reports from the Tuolumne County Sheriff's Department indicated the accident, which killed Mariati Tani, 41, of Sausalito, might have happened because of rocks exposed by reduced discharge from one of San Francisco's hydroelectric plant. Ferguson said his guides were notified that the flow would be reduced, but it was at a safe level when the group took on Clavey Falls, the drop in the river where the accident happened.

 

Tani was a passenger in a raft that nonetheless got "wrapped around" a rock and flipped, Ferguson said. "We're just not sure why that happened," he said. "Nobody has seen a wrap on that rock before."

The Sheriff's Department had reported that the accident might have been related to powerhouse operations. A spokesman could not be reached for clarification Thursday.

The accident is under review by the Stanislaus National Forest, which issues permits for whitewater rafting within its boundaries. The review will look at whether Zephyr provided the required safety training for the passengers and met other permit conditions, said Maggie Dowd, the forest's Groveland District ranger. "Everything says to me at this time that they were in compliance with the permit," she said.

Zephyr and other outfitters warn customers of the risks and require them to sign forms that release the companies from liability for accidents.

The seven-mile whitewater stretch on the Tuolumne, from northeast of Groveland to Don Pedro Reservoir, is one of the nation's best-known.

Clavey Falls is just downstream from where the Tuolumne meets the Clavey River. The flow depends on conditions on the Clavey, which has no dams, and on how much water the Tuolumne is carrying from snowpack runoff and San Francisco's releases.

Rafting companies long have worked with the city when scheduling their trips. They seek flows high enough to thrill their customers but not so high that people are in danger.

Tuesday's acceptable flow period was cut from four to 2¼ hours after a generator broke down, reducing the discharge, said Tyrone Jue, spokesman for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. "Within half an hour of the generator going out, the e-mail was sent out (to guides on the river) and we also went out there to give them the heads-up," he said.

The sheriff's report said Tani was pinned under the water for about 10 minutes as river guides worked to free her. Ferguson said they also called for emergency medical personnel and tried cardiopulmonary resuscitation. A California Highway Patrol helicopter took her body to Pine Mountain Lake Airport, just north of Groveland. 

A person answering the phone at Tani's home Thursday declined to comment.

Bee staff writer John Holland can be reached at jholland@modbee.com or (209) 578-2385.

 

 


Mariati Tani, 41, of Sausalito, died Tuesday afternoon while river rafting on the Tuolumne River. She and her family were near the Clavey Falls when rough water spilled the rafters and pinned Tani under water for an estimated 10 minutes. Efforts by river guides to revive her failed, the sheriff's office said. 

Sausalito woman dies in rafting accident on Tuolumne River

 

Bay City News Service

 

Posted:   08/01/2012 08:29:28 PM PDT

 

 

A 41-year-old Sausalito woman died Tuesday on the start of a three-day rafting trip with her husband when they hit unexpectedly fast rapids on the Tuolumne River, a Tuolumne County Sheriff's sergeant said.

 

Around 1:30 p.m. Mariati Tani, her husband, two other family members and a river guide were rafting down the river when the raft encountered an unexpected Class 5 rapid and became lodged on a rock, sheriff's Sgt. Jeff Wilson said.

Most of the party was ejected from the raft and Tani became pinned under the water and raft. She was submerged for 10 minutes before the guide could free her, Wilson said.

She was pronounced dead after 30 minutes of CPR efforts could not revive her. A California High Patrol helicopter was called in to bring her and her husband to Pine Mountain Lake Airport in Groveland where they met with sheriff's officials, Wilson said.

According to Wilson, river water levels fluctuate and are unpredictable. Class 4 rapids are usually found along the rafting route, he said. "You normally don't see that type of condition," Wilson said.

Wilson said the rafting companies work hard to host successful trips, but, "Let's face it, it's dangerous," he said.

Tani's husband had been on several previous rafting trips and this was the first day of the family's three-day trip down the river, Wilson said.

Sausalito woman dies in rafting accident on Tuolumne River

 

Bay City News Service

 

 

Posted:   08/01/2012 08:29:28 PM PDT

 

 

A 41-year-old Sausalito woman died Tuesday on the start of a three-day rafting trip with her husband when they hit unexpectedly fast rapids on the Tuolumne River, a Tuolumne County Sheriff's sergeant said.

 

Around 1:30 p.m. Mariati Tani, her husband, two other family members and a river guide were rafting down the river when the raft encountered an unexpected Class 5 rapid and became lodged on a rock, sheriff's Sgt. Jeff Wilson said.

Most of the party was ejected from the raft and Tani became pinned under the water and raft. She was submerged for 10 minutes before the guide could free her, Wilson said.

She was pronounced dead after 30 minutes of CPR efforts could not revive her. A California High Patrol helicopter was called in to bring her and her husband to Pine Mountain Lake Airport in Groveland where they met with sheriff's officials, Wilson said.

According to Wilson, river water levels fluctuate and are unpredictable. Class 4 rapids are usually found along the rafting route, he said.

"You normally don't see that type of condition," Wilson said.

Wilson said the rafting companies work hard to host successful trips, but, "Let's face it, it's dangerous," he said.

Tani's husband had been on several previous rafting trips and this was the first day of the family's three-day trip down the river, Wilson said.

 

 

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