Accident Database

Report ID# 4059

  • Swim into Strainer
  • Does not Apply
  • Other

Accident Description

On 21 June, Five clients set out on the Weber River on inflatable kayaks with two guide safety kayaks. The Weber River was flowing 507 CFS. The skies were clear and it was in excess of 90 degrees. The time was 1609. All five client kayakers were given basic kayak paddling instruction, a safety overview and assessed for medical conditions prior to launching.

Safety kayak number 1, Crawford, launched, eddied out approximately 50 yards down river, and waited for the next three kayakers to eddy out. Upon the fourth client launch, Crawford proceeded down river with all three client kayakers successfully leaving the eddy and the two other client kayakers and the safety guide kayaker in view. At launch, Crawford instructed all clients and safety kayaker, Richins, to eddy out at the area commonly know as the “swimming hole”.

All clients and guides met at the swimming hole. Client number 5, Adam, was swept by low overhanging branches further upstream from the “swimming hole” requiring help from Richins to get back in his boat. Richins reported the initial swim by Adam to Crawford while eddied out at the “swimming hole”. Crawford and Richins checked in with Adam and he reported he wanted to continue.

Crawford showed the group how to enter the eddy upstream and let the current carry the boat into the next oxbow with minimal paddling effort. Crawford completed the oxbow and paddled upstream, in place, observing client number one successfully entering the current and navigating the oxbow. Adam entered the eddy and was told by Richins to paddle harder. Adam did not paddle harder but did, however nearly stop paddling. Richins pursued Adam to encourage him verbally at close range. Adam did not respond.

Adam was swept river left to a low hanging tree, flipped and appeared to be entrapped under his kayak and a branch. Richins paddled in place immediately down river to Adam. Richins gave loud verbal commands, instructing Adam to release his boat. Adam did not respond. Crawford came to shore, grabbed a throw bag, ran to the scene and found Richins paddling robustly, staying in place immediately downriver to Adam. Crawford yelled to Adam to release the boat, after several shouts by Crawford, Adam released the boat and moments later was freed from the entrapment. Richins chased the loose boat.

Crawford deployed the throw bag. Adam did not respond to the rope. Crawford entered the river, placed Adam’s hand on the rope, closed Adam’s hand around the rope and pulled both Adam and rope to shore. Crawford extracted Adam from the river, up the bank and began preliminary medical overview. Adam’s heart rate was at 91 and 90 at two different intervals over a five minute period. Adam’s breathing was labored and quick. Adam responded to questions about his full name and where he lived. Richins sat with Adam while Crawford Called Outfitter office asking for a vehicle to extract from roadside, Adam. Dawna from Outfitter arrived within 14 minutes, was briefed by Crawford, and Adam was taken away by Dawna in a company van. The group then continued downriver.

As reported by Shawn Crawford.

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