Accident Database

Report ID# 651

  • PFD Not Worn or Present
  • Does not Apply
  • Inexperience
  • One Boat Trip

Accident Description

My wife and I took out at the junction of the Cheat and Big Sandy Rivers in West Virginia on June 1st to find the area crowded with rescue vehicles. The Morgantown, WV Dominion-Post reported that a 24-year-old man had been paddling a canoe with two woman friends. Water levels were moderate; around 2.5 feet at Albright. The man attempted to run a Class II-III rapid below the takeout and capsized. No PFD's were worn, and he never resurfaced. A second canoe made it through the rapids without incident.

The man's friends swam to shore and contacted bystanders, who then notified authorities. Rescue squads from Bruceton Mills, Albright and Masontown, assisted by divers, local kayakers, and outfitters, searched the area thoroughly without success. To date the body has not been found. The area between Jenkinsburg Bridge and Cheat Lake is pretty remote and not traveled often, and this will make the recovery difficult.


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