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Experienced/Inexperienced
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Accident Description


NEAR MISSES ON THE OCOEE
By Slim Ray

The second incident, about which I have less information, involves a commercial outfitter on the Ocoee. One of the company's rafts was making a routine run through Table Saw (Class III-IV when a customer fell out. This is not unusual. At the bottom of Table Saw is a rock which splits the main current called "landing pad." Boats must angle left at the lower part of the rapid to avoid hitting this rock, which can flip a raft if the crew fails to high-side. The raft in question missed the rock, but was unable to get the swimmer back in before she was swept into it. Apparently she washed into a pothole in the front of the rock and stayed there until the guides were able to get her out. Accounts differ whether the women was unconscious when rescued and whether CPR was necessary, but all agree that she subsequently recovered without problems.

Comments: While the Ocoee is a geologically benign river compared, say, to the Chattooga, it still has its hazards. The guides seem to have reacted very quickly to rescue the women, but the incident points up the necessity for getting a swimmer back in the raft as quickly as possible.