Accident Database

Report ID# 71

  • Flush Drowning
  • Does not Apply
  • Cold Water
  • Failed Rescue
  • Inexperience
  • High Water

Accident Description

June 9, 1990
"Frog Run" Section (Below the Numbers) near Buena Vista, Colo.
Volume 3800 cfs (Very High). Classification III+

DESCRIPTION: Larry Heidemann of Buena Vista was kayaking with his brother on this popular intermediate run, which is very fast and continuous at high water. Suddenly Heidemann's boat capsized. His brother went after him, but hit a rock and was forced to swim also. His brother made it safely to shore, but Heidemann did not. His body was recovered downstream by commercial rafters.

SOURCE: Ron Judkoff, Colorado Whitewater Association

ANALYSIS: Clearly this group was inexperienced and misjudged the river; they would have been better off finding easier water or seeking the company of stronger paddlers.

Join AW and support river stewardship nationwide!