Accident Database

Report ID# 424

Edit this Accident Help
  • PFD Not Worn or Present
  • Does not Apply
  • One Boat Trip

Accident Description

On June 23, 1996 Leah Jamiolkowski, 58, was fishing the Big Hole River near Butte, MT from a drift boat. There is no place on the river more difficult than Class III even at high water. Reports stated that an anchor came loose and snagged on the riverbed. Water poured in over the stern, swamping the boat and flipping it. Three of the occupants were able to swim to shore, but Ms. Jamiolkowski did not. Her body was recovered several miles downstream. Four life vests were on board, but none were in use at the time of the accident.

 

 

 

 

 

SOURCE: Doug Purl, posting to rec.boats.paddle

 

 

 

 

 

On June 23, Leah Jamiolkowski, 58, was fishing the Big Hole River near Butte, Montana from a drift boat. Even with high water, there is no place on the river more difficult than Class III. A posting to Rec.boats.paddle from Doug Purl reports that the boat's anchor came loose and snagged on the riverbed. Water poured in over the stern, swamping the boat and flipping it. Three of the occupants swam to shore, but Ms. Jamiolkowski did not. Her body was recovered several miles downstream. Four life vests were on board, but none was in use at the time of the accident.

ANALYSIS: (Walbridge) Anchoring a boat safely in fast current is pretty tricky, and many accidents have been caused by doing this. The group’s decision not to wear PFD’s is an indication that they were not very experienced.

 

 

Join AW and support river stewardship nationwide!