Accident Database

Report ID# 3672

  • Flush Drowning
  • Does not Apply
  • Cold Water
  • High Water

Accident Description

 Water 'incredibly fast' day of Calgarian's death, says rafter

CBC News (Elizabeth Snaddon/CBC)

Posted: Jun 25, 2012

Mary Cretney-Thibeault, 50, died in a river rafting accident on the Kicking Horse River when the lead raft in a group of five rafts flipped over. The group was on a trip with the BC Rivers Outfitters Association. Brad Skinner was part of a six-raft group on the Kickinghorse River around the time when Cretney-Thibeault drowned.He said the water was very fast and cold at the time of the woman's death near Golden, BC.

He said they were making the first of two trips in the middle canyon when one of their own rafts flipped. “We were in full paddle mode, moving quite quickly down the river, trying to get to that boat and get those people out of the water,” Skinner said. Skinner says they got everyone to safety in about five minutes, despite the fast-moving water. "It was incredibly fast and incredibly white,” he said. “There was definitely a lot of turbulence in the water. "Then a short time later a raft with another company tipped near the same part of the river.

Keith Davis is with the company, which has been in operation for more than 30 years.“Not very well quite frankly,” Davis said when asked how the staff is doing. “This is extremely traumatic for the staff and traumatic for them in the sense that they have this tremendous sense of loss in having this kind of thing happen. ”Police and the B.C. Coroners Service are investigating.

GOLDEN, B.C. — One person has died after a raft flipped during a whitewater rafting excursion on the Kicking Horse river east of Golden B.C. Glacier Raft Company, which was running the excursion, says the raft was one of a group of five going over a rapid in the Middle Canyon section of the river around 3 p.m. local time on Saturday. Each raft carried eight passengers and one guide.

When the raft turned over, guides from the other rafts in the group quickly pulled all passengers from the river. The company says that one person was unresponsive even though the guides attempted resuscitation while waiting for a rescue helicopter. The company says the Kicking Horse river is currently experiencing high water conditions due to spring run-off, but conditions were within safe operating guidelines.

The company, which is based in Golden, has been operating for more than 30 years. It says it normally carries between 2,000 and 3,000 passengers each year on the Kicking Horse and other rivers in the region.

Join AW and support river stewardship nationwide!