Accident Database

Report ID# 3750

  • Foot Entrapment
  • Does not Apply
  • Other

Accident Description


Canoe Trip Leaves One Person Dead On Chattooga River

Posted: Jul 15, 2013

By WSPA Staff - Spartandburg, SC

Mountain Rest, SC - Another boating accident on the Chattooga River has left one person dead. The incident happened around 6 p.m. Monday night on the river, near Sandy Ford Road in Oconee County. According to Oconee County Coroner Karl Addis, 64-year-old Ralph Neal Head of Madison, Georgia, was with a friend and his son, canoeing on the river. As they approached Sandy Ford in Section III of the river, Head's canoe overturned. His friend, who was down the river, looked back and saw the victim floating in the river in no distress. According to Addis, Head's canoe floated down the river and was retrieved by his friend. When his friend looked back, he did not see him.

Head's body was discovered a short time later and it appeared that his legs became entangled under a rock in the river. The current had pushed the victim under water and an attempt to free him was unsuccessful According to Oconee County Fire Chief King, rescue workers hiked about a mile into the woods and it took about 90 minutes to recover the body from the river. The victim was wearing a helmet and flotation device. Addis says Head died of freshwater drowning. The drowning is the second on the river in the past month. The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and U.S. Forest Service are investigating the accident.

Join AW and support river stewardship nationwide!