Accident Database

Report ID# 4081

  • Flush Drowning
  • Other
  • Other

Accident Description

: I've never paddled that stretch. This is from "About 10 miles past Balls Ferry, the trip's biggest challenge awaits: China Rapids, rated Class II. This is a chute in a short, rocky gorge, where your canoe will rock like a teeter-totter as you are propelled forward. Paddlers can add to their safety margin by rocking their paddles back and forth in the current. That will slow down the boat, making it far easier to pick your way through the rough stuff. If you paddle hard, on the other hand (as if in a raft), you can be propelled out of control. If you broach, you'll flip." There's some pictures of it on cacreeks: Kayaker drowns in Sacramento River

By Heather Hoelscher, Red Bluff Daily News

Posted: 08/01/16

A Red Bluff man drowned Saturday morning while kayaking through the China Rapids area of the Sacramento River with a family member. The man, Richard Girard, 59, of Red Bluff fell out of his kayak and lost contact with it around 8:15 a.m., according to a press release issued Monday afternoon by the Tehama County Sheriff’s Office. He was pulled onto some nearby rocks by his family member but was unconscious. Girard was transported by the Sheriff’s Boating Unit to the Bend Bridge boat ramp where he was pronounced dead at the scene by medical personnel at the ramp. An autopsy conducted Sunday determined drowning was the cause of death, according to the release.

China Rapids is about two miles down river from the Bend ramp. It was reported Girard’s kayak overturned while proceeding through the rapids. Girard struggled through the rapids despite wearing an approved life vest.A sheriff’s spokeswoman said neither alcohol nor drugs was a factor in the accident.>>

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