Tom McEwan, noted kayak instructor and youth leader, was taking some kids down fishladder on Friday evening. The Potomac was about 4’. He flipped in the 5th slide and sustained a major head injury. According to Robert Goo, Gil Rocha was surfing at portage and spotted Tom’s boat and looked for the occupant who was pretty much under the water. Gill spotted Tom and brought his head up enough so he could breathe and supported him as they drifted through Rocky down to wet bottom. They somehow got Tom ashore on the rock at wet bottom and called a helicopter. Tom was hospitalized for several days, including a stay in the ICU. Surgery, fortunately, was not required. He has returned home to face a long recovery.
From the CCA Cruiser:"According to Liam and Jacob who were boating with Tom on the Fish Ladder, Tom hit his head on the 5th slide and swam through S-turn and Rocky while being chased by Gil Rocha. Gil finally managed to pull him onto the rocks at the water's edge at the head of the island above Wet Bottom. Tom was apparently concussed on the fish ladder and was unableto help with his rescue. Liam and Jacob showed great composure in assisting with the rescue and kept a running dialogue with Tom in addition to monitoring his vitals until the helicopter arrived."