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Accident Description


American Whitewater Board and Staff - just got off the phone with Chris Kelly, who managed to get speared on the Ocoee by another boater this past weekend. Chris says he feels fine, but he is in the hospital for the next few days with a few broken ribs and a punctured lung. Figure on three days stay in the lockup. Figured you would want to know, and figured Chris could use some cheering up. Rich

From: CKelly1022@aol.com [SMTP:CKelly1022@aol.com]

Sent: Tuesday, August 01, 2000 12:42 AM Subject:

Re: Speared on the Ocoee Dear

All, First, thank you for your kind wishes and enjoyable messages. I am still in the Hosp so will respond em mass. Here is what happened: I was leading my wife and another lady down the Ocoee last Sunday. Between Double Trouble and Flipper I ran a little chute. I was watching my 2 charges and did not see another boater leave an eddy below me to come out to surf. As I ran down the chute he came out and nailed me hard. I saw him at the last moment and twisted to avoid contact but only succeeded in getting my arm out of the way and make my armpit the target. It jurt like hell. He knocked me out of my left thigh strap and flipped me. I knew it was ribs and was bad right away. I also knew I had to get up or face a long painfulll swim. I made the roll and limped down through Fliper and then on to Goforth Creek and took out. My wife and our friend drove us the 9 hours home and to our hospital where they confirmed my suspicion about the ribs (3) and added that I had punctured and partially colapsed the lung as well. I will get out Wedensday.

Lessions: 1. It is my job to pay attention. Yes the other guy was downstream but there is no question that I feel equally at fault. BTW, he was very helpful and kind and felt very sorry about the whole thing. I do not blame him a bit. Had I done my job of paying attention I would not be here. 2. Make the roll. If I ever needed to make one thst was it and am damn glad I got up. There are no excuses, either you get up or you don�t. 3. Listen to your wife (i hate this lesson as it has occurred before.) She said go to the hsp in Chatt. Anyway, that is the story. I hope to be paddling by GF and look foreward to seeing you all.

Chris Kelly