Accident Database

Report ID# 3705

  • Swim into Strainer
  • PFD Not Worn or Present
  • Does not Apply
  • Other

Accident Description

Baltimore Canoe Club Web site:

The level was around 6 to 8".

The 2nd tube was completely obstructed. 1, 3 & 4 were all clear. The 2nd tube is, in fact, too deep to wade from below without support at above base.

I'm very familiar with this location. Above Belair Road/Route 1, the river is class I+to class II- and is a popular novice run. Below, the river starts to pick up gradient as it falls off the Piedmont Plateau to the coastal plain, and in next four miles there are half a dozen significant rapids, including the river's namesake, "Gunpowder Falls". This section is II+ at nominal water levels, more III-ish at high water, and at very high water a few difficult spots develop.

The wording in one of the updates on the GBCC site mentions a strainer on the upstream side of the Route 1 bridge. This is a notorious spot for them: underneath the bridge are four "tubes".

Here's a partial view at *very* high water, on the upstream side:

Note the railing and walkway above them: a hiking trail crosses the river there. I have to guess that rescuers are taking advantage of that. The tubes are perhaps 15 feet in diameter and it's quite common for two or three of the four to be blocked by strainers. The current accelerates above them and ferrying across the openings, looking for one that isn't blocked, requires more than a novice's level of boat control. Complicating things, sometimes a strainer isn't visible at the opening, but is lodged halfway through the tube -- in the shadows.

Rick Kuwalik

Kayaker missing in Baltimore County

Fire officials suspend search for man late Saturday

By Erica L. Green, The Baltimore Sun: June 15, 2013

Baltimore County fire officials have temporarily suspended a search that failed to turn up a 26-year-old man reported missing Saturday afternoon after falling from his kayak in Gunpowder Falls. The 26-year-old man was reported missing around 4:30 p.m. by a friend who was kayaking with him in the river near Belair Road, in Kingsville, according to Lt. Jay Ringgold, a spokesman for the Baltimore County Fire Department. Several crews were still on the scene at 8 p.m., but had not been able to locate the man, he said. it was undetermined when the search would resume.

Body of Parkville kayaker recovered from Gunpower Falls

By Pamela Wood, The Baltimore Sun

June 16, 2013

Emergency responders on Sunday recovered the body of a 26-year-old kayaker who had been reported missing a day earlier. The body of Daniel Travis Deamond of Parkville was pulled from the Gunpowder Falls near Belair Road in Kingsville at about 11:30 a.m. Sunday, said Sgt. Brian Albert, a spokesman for the Natural Resources Police.

Deamond and a friend had been kayaking Saturday when Deamond ran into trouble at the bridge, Albert said. The river flows through four archways under the road. Deamond's kayak rolled under a pile of brush and debris that had collected in one archway from the recent storms, Albert said. The State Highway Administration brought in a crane on Sunday to remove debris so crews could reach his body.

A member of the Kingsville Volunteer Fire Department's swift-water rescue team pulled Deamond's body from the water. Teams from Baltimore County's police and fire departments and the state Natural Resources Police also assisted in the recovery. Deamond's body has been taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for an autopsy, but foul play is not suspected. Deamond was not wearing a life jacket, Albert said.

Read more:,0,6621509.story#ixzz2WTHPI5ob

Swiftwater Rescue Instructor

This unfortunate incident happened last week (Father's Day).  The drowning occurred in one of the tubes that runs under Route 1 at the take-out.
It is Class I.  No one from our club knew of him.  He was not associated with the Baltimore Canoe & Kayak Club (Formally the Greater Baltimore Canoe Club).
Was told by the MD Park Service that it was a second-hand KeeWee rec boat.  Was also told that neither boater was wearing a PFD.  Due to the heavy rainstorms that we had the week before, that tube was pretty choked with debris.  They had to use a crane to get most of it out.  When I get more details, I will forward them to you
Bill Offutt
Park Superintendent 


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