ones Falls is an inner city whitewater run through Baltimore with
poor water quality but some of the most unique creek scenery around.
Highlights include several unique drops. Despite the name "Round
Falls", it is actually a horseshoe-shaped dam with the opening of the
horseshoe pointed downstream. It's been run frequently, and the hole
causes occasional problems.
On October 16th Seth Burkholder encountered trouble at Round Falls.
The first paddler in his group went over the center of the falls,
without incident. Mr. Burkholder followed soon afterward, landed a
little sideways, flipped, and was drawn into the curtain and swam.
While he was trying to swim away from the hydraulic he was drawn to
the left and got caught in a particularly strong part of the hydraulic
where he was drawn underwater.
Although there was no downstream safety set, his group reacted quickly
and ropes were thrown. One rope wrapped around Mr. Burkholder's leg
and he was pulled from the water unconscious and not breathing. CPR
began immediately; emergency responders arrived on the scene quickly
and took over caring for him.
Mr. Burkholder was unconscious, but breathing on his own when he
arrived at University of Maryland Shock Trauma. He was in critical but
stable condition, kept in a medically induced coma, but has since
recovered quickly. Several days later he was speaking and walking, and
is scheduled to begin physical therapy.
He ran the drop left of center, came out of his boat and was recirculated. We threw a rope multiple times, but he either wasn't able to grab it or was already unconscious. At this point I ran to get my rope so I didn't see what happened. I've heard the rope snagged him and then one of our friends jumped in to pull him to shore. We got him to the shore, started CPR and bystander called 911. He had a pulse and was breathing when he went to the hospital, but was still unconscious. It's already on the news: