Accident Database

Report ID# 483

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  • PFD Not Worn or Present
  • Does not Apply
  • Cold Water

Accident Description

DESCRIPTION: Kendall Bryant was a 35-year-old volunteer firefighter with previous whitewater experience on the Nantahala River. On March 1, 1998 he drowned on the Etowah River while teaching his girlfriend to paddle. He reportedly flipped his sit-on-top kayak and disappeared after several attempts to remount it. His girlfriend lost her paddle trying to rescue him, then continued to hand-paddle her boat in an effort to help. She eventually became stranded on the far side of the river and needed rescue herself. Bystanders heard her screams and called 911. No PFD was used.

SOURCE: Atlanta Journal-Constitution

ANALYSIS:

This accident would probably not have happened if the victim has been wearing a life vest.

 

 

The Etowah incident occured at an above normal level after heavy rains. the victim was not wearing a PFD at the time. the victim was rolled over by fast current and apparently swam and was then sucked under the water and as of today, i have not heard if the body has been recovered.  In addition to the othe info in the previous message, I heard he washed over a sandbar not 1-2' in depth but according to the news he was already "in shock" from the cold water. I've swam in the Chattooga in January and February (not intentionally) and yes it's cold but I was still able to maintain control of my faculties. Something else must've happened. Strainer? Skirt that wouldn't blow? Hit his head on a rock? ... Gotta wear that PFD.

"Scott " wrote: >Does anyone know what happened? > >I heard on the radio on the way in to work that a Canton GA USA firefighter >was teaching his girlfriend how to kayak on the Etowah river near Atlanta GA >USA. The Etowah is basically flat water.Two spring kayaking fatalities in Central Georgia involved inexperienced paddlers who were not wearing life vests. Scott Bristow forwarded an article from the Atlanta Journal Constitution reporting that Kendall Bryant, a volunteer firefighter, drowned on the Etowah River March 1 while teaching his girlfriend to paddle. He flipped his sit on top and disappeared after several attempts to remount it. His girlfriend lost her paddle trying to rescue him, then continued to hand-paddle in an effort to help. She eventually became stranded on the far side of the river and needed rescue herself.

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