Accident Database

Report ID# 602

  • Pinned in Boat Against Strainer
  • Does not Apply
  • Other

Accident Description

The Day Stretch of the Salmon River in Idaho is a popular big water Class III run used by local boaters and a few outfitters. High winds on Wednesday, July 7, 1999 blew a giant Douglas Fir into the water. The tree was located just downstream of Pine Creek Rapids and stretched halfway across the river, forming a dangerous obstacle. A request went to the Forest Service to remove the tree on Thursday the 8th was not followed up because of a lack of manpower. On July 11th, Jason Armstrong, 22, was thrown from his raft when he hit the tree. He was held under water for two hours before rescuers could free him.

SOURCE: Paul Delany, Northwest Rafting Association, Associated Press

ANALYSIS: (Walbridge) Strainers are very dangerous and, unfortunately, can be hard to spot from upstream.


AW's Paul Delaney sent a brief account of a July 4th death on the "day stretch" of the Salmon River near Salmon, Idaho. Jason Armstrong, 22, was rafting with friends when their boat hit a strainer and pinned. The others washed free, but Armstrong was caught and held under water. It took rescuers nearly an hour to free him. Local residents said that the tree had recently entered the river and that it was very hard to spot from upstream.



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