TEENAGER DROWNS ON THE CHATOOGA
Section 111; "The Narrows" above the Rt 76 Bridge on the Georgia/S.C. Line
Date: Saturday July 28th, 1990
River Level 1.0; Classification: III
DESCRIPTION: Section III of the Chatooga is a long run which was the primary backdrop for the movie Deliverance. With the exception of a big ledge at the end, which is often portaged, the run is popular with intermediate paddlers. 1.0 is a low flow.
The group consisted of a father and his ten-year-old daughter paddling open canoe and the victim, his son Daniel 11, paddling C-1. The open canoe ran the rapid cleanly and eddied out on the right. The son ran second, flipped, and bailed out. While attempting to stand in the swift water at the mouth of the narrows Daniel's foot became entrapped. His father attempted a rescue by swimming and wading; he actually pulled the boy's PFD off and may have dislodged him on the third attempt. The body was recovered later by rescue personnel at 7:15 PM in the pool just downstream.
ANALYSIS: Foot entrapment is always a danger, especially on streams like the Chatooga which feature eroded, undercut, sedimentary formations. Standing in water which comes over your knees is extremely dangerous and is definitely not recommended. (CW)