Accident Database

Report ID# 3699

  • Caught in a Natural Hydraulic
  • Does not Apply
  • Cold Water

Accident Description

Liza Gould, an ocean kayaker and intermediate whitewater paddler, drowned after recirculating at the base of a steep ledge. The ledge is benign at low flows, but at 3000 cfs level it created a 100' wide hole across the middle and right hand side with significant downstream recirculation. She washed downstream and was recovered by a second group. They started CPR, which brought back her heartbeat and respiration. A passer by saw the accident and dialed 911. She was taken to a local hospital where she died that night.

Green river kayaker dies after being rescued

by KING 5 News, Updated Monday, Apr 8, 2013

A 45-year-old woman died at a local hospital after falling into the water while kayaking Sunday. The woman was taken to a hospital in Auburn in critical condition Sunday afternoon. The woman's friends pulled her from the water and started CPR until the medics arrived. The King County Sheriff’s Office said the woman in her 40s was taken to an Auburn hospital.

Liza was apparently an experienced sea kayaker who was making the cross over to whitewater. I am actually surprised that this would happen at that site as I have led beginner trips myself there and while it is a class III drop, it is very distinct and easy to scout with a straightforward line--perfect for class II paddlers who want to learn how to scout and run their first class III rapid. I have seen many, many people screw it up and come out fine. It is one of the most popular reaches for whitewater instruction in the entire region. - Tom O'Keefe

Liza was paddling on the Green River Sunday when she was caught in a water hazard. She passed away early Monday morning. Our thoughts and condolences go out to Liza’s family, friends and The Mountaineers leader and participants who tried to rescue her.

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