Accident Database

Report ID# 655

  • Swim into Rock or Sieve
  • Does not Apply
  • One Boat Trip

Accident Description

A man died on the Lower Youghiogheny at on June 26th  Willie Pate, 46, was paddling a rented double duck with a woman  who had been down the river before. The water level was a moderate 1’8”. The pair was alone when they reached Dimple Rapid. Here they were swept against Dimple Rock and capsized.

No one witnessed the accident, but those familiar with the site speculate that he got hung up underwater on the slightly undercut upstream face of the rock. His partner flushed through the rapid. When Pate did not appear at the bottom, she asked some kayakers who were hanging out at Swimmer’s Hole to help search for him. As they moved upstream, they saw Pate float by unconscious. He was picked up by local guides, who performed CPR and radioed for help. They were unable to revive him.

This is the second fatality at Dimple Rock in two years, and this spot deserves serious respect from river runners

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