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Difficulty
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Accident Description


South Idaho's Owyhee River is normally a pleasant Class II-III run in an isolated desert canyon. Unexpected heavy rains raised the level from 2500 to over 13,000 cfs in a day, making the trip much more difficult. Dee Martin, a drift boat paddler, drowned in the aptly named Upset Rapid on May 13, 1998. His boat collided with a rock and flipped. One report indicated that he was not wearing a PFD. Landslides and washouts closed some access points following the rainstorm, and six to eight groups were stranded on rivers in the area. Many were not prepared for the weather, and one group had to be evacuated.

SOURCE: Vince Thompson, Idaho Whitewater Page

ANALYSIS: (Walbridge) Rivers can and do rise very quickly, and boaters must always be alert to changes.

 

Dee Martin, a drift boat paddler, drowned in the aptly-named Upset Rapid of Idaho's Owyhee on May 13. He was not wearing a PFD and May have been wearing waders! This run is a class II-III desert canyon rim at normal flows. Unexpected heavy rains raised the level from 2500 to over 13000 cfs, making the trip much more difficult. Landslides and washouts closed some access points, and 6-8 groups were stranded on rivers in the area.. Many were not prepared for nature's savage onslaught, and one group had to be evacuated.