: Washington’s Green River is a popular Class IV run in a beautiful canyon. The 1250 cfs found on May 5,1999 is pretty minimal, especially for rafts. On that day a small private paddle raft with five paddlers was following a commercial trip. The group got misaligned at the “Nozzle”, a narrow Class IV drop, and ended up going through the “Little Nozzle”, an even narrower chute. Richard Jobst, 34, fell out of the raft feet first, went deep, and disappeared. He was pinned very deeply in a hidden boulder sieve. A group eating lunch below the Nozzle responded, and sent two people sliding down a large rock on belay. They could see Jobst’s body, and even touch his head, but could not attach a line and pull him out. He was jammed very tightly in an inaccessible place.
After 45 minutes of determined effort, two people were sent downriver to call search and rescue. After examining the scene the professionals asked the damkeeper to cut the water back to 850 cfs. This was done, and they recovered his body the next day.
SOURCE: Seattle Times; Brian Pratt, posting to rec.boats.paddle
ANALYSIS: (Walbridge) Steep boulder drops may contain hidden sieves. The best protection from becoming caught in them is to stay in your boat!