Accident Database

Report ID# 403

  • Flush Drowning
  • Does not Apply
  • Cold Water
  • High Water

Accident Description


1995 saw a record number of commercial outfitter fatalities on Colorado rivers. The four deaths, roughly one for every 130,000 guests, is the highest annual toll since the state began keeping records ten years ago. All were flush drownings caused in part by unusually high water levels.

Including private paddlers, there were a total of 10 whitewater fatalities statewide. Only one of these involved a kayaker. 

On July 31 Scott Hoedt, 28, drowned in Sledgehammer Rapid in Royal Gorge following a flip. A Rec.Boats.Paddle posting reported that the victim's life vest came off almost immediately. The body was found six miles downriver.

SOURCES: Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News, Boulder Daily Times, and Roger W. Lynn, CWWA Safety Chair

Life jacket fell off

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