Accident Database

Report ID# 606

Help
  • Equipment Trap
  • Does not Apply
  • Other

Accident Description

Fred Haddon, 43, an experienced riverboarder, was killed while surfing on the Weber River near Salt Lake City, UT on July 5, 1999. He tied his surfboard to the Center Street Bridge, then attached himself to the board with a tether. When he fell off, he was held in place by the tether and pulled under water. Hadden’s son cut the board free of the bridge, and his father floated 1.5 miles downstream before being pulled to shore. By this time he was dead. He was wearing a PFD.

SOURCE: Salt Lake City Tribune  

ANALYSIS: (Walbridge) Tethers are commonly used in ocean surfing to keep the board from being lost, but are deadly when riverboarding. The riverboard remains attached to the shore even if the user falls off, so there’s no advantage to using one. Under no circumstances should anyone tie themselves to a fixed point on shore before entering the river! The exception is when using a rescue PFD or some other quick-release mechanism.

 

 

Join AW and support river stewardship nationwide!