Accident Database

Report ID# 490

  • Caught in Low Head Dam Hydraulic
  • Does not Apply
  • One Boat Trip

Accident Description

On Mon, 22 Jun 1998 05:24:08 GMT, in (John) wrote: Channel 3 News in Sacramento has reported that 3 Rafters were killed when their rafts overturned after they went over a low-head dam. From the pictures shown on the news, they had two rafts. One appeared to be a large rubber bucket boat, and the other appeared to be a small PVC raft. The helicopter showed a picture of the tragedy, and it DID NOT appear to be the diversion dam on the Latrobe Road-Highway 16 run. The terrain appeared to be fairly flat, so I am assuming this happened on the flatwater area below Rancho Murietta somewhere. John

California, which has experienced both a heavy snowpack and a cool spring, is in for a prolonged period of extremely high water. Already eleven rafting fatalities have been reported; two involved a mother and child on an air mattress, but the rest are for real! Three occurred within a few days of each other on the South Fork of the American near Lotus, California. A popular Class III+ summer run at 1200-1600 cfs, at 6,000-8,000 cfs the river becomes very continuous and turbulent. At this point it should be considered heavy class IV-IV+. Most of this information was reported by AW Director and Friends of the River conservationist Richard Penny.

On June 21, three people were killed when their raft flipped going over a pipeline on a flatwater section of the Cosumnes River near Rancho Murita. The hydraulic at the base of the dam-like structure trapped and killed the entire group.

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