Accident Database

Report ID# 46945

  • Caught in a Natural Hydraulic
  • Flush Drowning
  • Does not Apply
  • Other

Accident Description

Sean was paddling with two other boaters. The river level was around 1100 cfs at 49 bridge, which is a moderate flow. All three boaters are well known in the California boating community and are solid class V + kayakers. The S Yuba is their backyard run and they all know the run and the rapid where this occurred well. 

Sean was second in the group to run Corner Pocket. It has a notoriously bad ledge hole on river right and the majority of the water exits to the river left wall which is severely undercut. Sean was surfed in the hole and eventually became extracted from the boat. He was being surfed in the hole outside of his boat and the others were able to hit him with a throw bag. 

Unfortunately by that time he was exhausted. He flushed out of the hole and one of the boaters was able to grab his life vest and get him to a small ledge, I am unsure if both boaters were on shore or if one was still in his kayak at this point. They began CPR on an awkward ledge. A second group arrived and they had a Spot receiver in the group and was able to notify Emergency services. 

After performing CPR for some time (I’m not sure how long) they decided to pendulum him on a rope down stream to a spot where people would put back on if portaging the rapid. They removed his vest and continued CPR until EMT service arrived via helicopter. This was about an hour and a half. 

Sean was a staple of the boating scene here for the last 15+ years and is loved by many.

School district director of special education, pupil services dies in kayaking incident

Sam Corey, Staff Writer, Grass Valley, CA Union

April 1, 2019

Sean Manchester, the director of special education and director of pupil services for the Nevada Joint Union High School District, died in a kayaking incident Sunday, according to an email sent to the Nevada Union community from Principal Kelly Rhoden. "As many families know, Sean was an avid and experienced water man and had run this stretch of the river many times," Rhoden wrote. "However, by the time emergency responders were on scene, it was too late." The principal added that Manchester was a spirited and passionate man. "He was well loved, well respected," said Brett McFadden, superintendent of the district.


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