Accident Database

Report ID# 50329

  • Pinned in Boat against Rock or Sieve
  • Does not Apply
  • One Boat Trip

Accident Description

Harpers Ferry Adventure Center guide dies

By Mike Lewis 

Aug 2, 2019

A guide for Harpers Ferry Adventure Center died after an incident on the Potomac River Thursday. Authorities identified the victim as Michael Clevenger, 32, of Harpers Ferry, W.Va. Clevenger was working at the time of the incident, which was reported about 6 p.m. His duties were to help afternoon tubers on the journey from Lock 34 to just below the U.S. 340 bridge, according to an email from the Maryland Natural Resources Police. His body has been taken to Charleston, W.Va., for an autopsy.

In an email, Maryland Natural Resources police reported that a kayaker found another person, later identified as Clevenger, in a kayak sideways on a rock in some rapids near the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park. Clevenger was wearing a lifejacket but was partially submerged, the email states. The kayaker realized Clevenger was not breathing "and gave CPR before hauling the victim aboard his own kayak and traveling further downstream to a safer location where he called 911," the email states.  The kayaker continued administering CPR at Potomac Wayside, the Virginia side of the U.S. 340 bridge, until emergency crews arrived.

Clevenger was taken to Jefferson Memorial Hospital in Ranson, where he was pronounced dead. Calls and emails to the Harpers Ferry Adventure Center were not immediately returned.

Kayaker pulled from Potomac River below U.S. 340 bridge

Dave McMillion

 Aug 1, 2019

HARPERS FERRY, W.Va. — A kayaker was taken to Jefferson Medical Center in Ranson on Thursday evening after a water rescue on the Potomac River below the U.S. 340 bridge, authorities said.

The incident was initially reported to Washington County 911 as a drowning, according to a supervisor at the 911 center. But authorities could not confirm the person's condition Thursday night. The 911 supervisor said it was reported that the kayaker was with some friends who helped with the rescue.

The individual was removed from the water on the Virginia side of the river, said Capt. Melissa Scarborough of the Maryland Natural Resources Police. The incident was reported about 6 p.m.

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