Accident Database

Report ID# 542

  • Foot Entrapment
  • Near Drowning
  • Other

Accident Description

Pat Reilly wrote: On Saturday 6 of us (mostly Pennsylvanians) took off for the Arden section of the Tygart from the Cheat Fest. After scouting and running the bottom right of Moat's Falls, the three men in the party were waiting were for the women to finish scouting and join us, when I saw a throw rope arcing through the air. We scrambled from our boats and up over the rocks to find a very drunk local who had fallen/jumped from the huge party rock in the center of the river. He missed his swim into the eddy and was now stuck at the brink of the ugliest part of the right side chute with a foot entrapment.

The ladies in our party threw him a rope, a PFD and helmet and instructed his buddies to form a human chain to reach his hand and stabilize him. I arrived with another rope (I believe by now he had 2 ropes leading to him) and tied off and belayed an unidentified kayaker who entered the water and freed the guys foot. He was then drug up on the rock where he collapsed for 5 or 10 minutes. He was last seen back on the big rock drinking more whiskey. I don't think anyone knows for sure, but I would venture that it's a good possibility that he wouldn't be alive if it weren't for kayakers in the river that day. Anyway, it shortened our day, as now we were low on time and the ladies had lost their drive to continue.

Now I have to go back some day for Wells Falls. Anyway I would be interested in knowing some of the other participants in the rescue. They did a good job, especially the guy who did the 'in water' work. I believe he was from Arlington, Virginia. Let's here your take on the story


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