Date: Mon, 07 Aug 2000 16:40:Saturday a group of us were paddling Section IV of the Chattooga at a low level of 1.05 on the bridge. We had some trepidation about running middle crack because of the rope and/or cable hazard that has been there since January. Higher levels have not revealed anything but at this low level one of the kayakers in our group flipped in the drop and had his paddle snagged by a throw rope that was in the drop. GOOD THING IT WASN’T HIS NECK!
The rope had formed a loop and was extended down to just beyond the rocks that form the cracks. Two members of our group managed to corral the paddle (since it was bobbing near the surface) and cut the rope that entangled it. These 2 ends are no longer a hazard, however, there may well be other loops of this same rope that extend through the drop so use EXTREME CAUTION when running this drop. FYI, it appeared the rope extended from beneath the log that is pinned above middle crack.
This editor has encountered a rope there recently, and, in the late 1980's almost watched a friend drown here. It took a shore based photographer to see a hand come out of the water while all of the paddlers chased the boat. Once they knew what was going on, the victim was stabilized and a knife passed to him so he could cut the rope. The victim had won the first purse at the Ocoee Rodeo the week before. LB