Accident Database

Report ID# 39

  • Foot Entrapment
  • Does not Apply
  • Failed Rescue

Accident Description

Bob Porter, one of the strongest whitewater kayakers in Califirnia, died in King's Canyon on August 26th. The incident occurred at Rough Creek Rapid in a chute that isn't normally run. Bob was heading for the normal route along the right edge of a giant boulder, but he hit a subsurface rock that pushed him off his line towards the left side of the rock. He broached momentarily, then dropped over and vertically pinned.

His companions threw ropes, and Bob grabbed hold of the second one. They were then able to pull him from the boat. Once free and in the water, Bob either let go of the rope or was too tired to hold on. During the ensuing swim Bob was pussed between a large rock and a smaller rock, where he disapeared completely. This sieve was not obvious to any of the expert paddlers on the river that day.

Rescue squads recovered his body over a month later. He had caught his foot and lower leg. There was no entanglement with ropes, as some had feared.

Source: Accident report by John Holland

Class V rapid demand precise and reliable skills The penalty for error is often severe. Those who attempt water of this difficulty need to understand that this sort of accident is only one missed stroke away.

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