Accident Database

Report ID# 765

  • Pinned in Boat Against Strainer
  • Does not Apply
  • Other

Accident Description

Kayaker Drowns On Esopus Creek
Submitted by Jerry Hargrave

This message is forwarded for two reasons. First, to ask to help this family recover from their tragic loss and second, to warn of the strainer danger.

As many of you already know KCCNY member Larry Kerwin lost his life on Saturday morning, July 20 after falling into a strainer on the upper Esopus Creek while paddling with the AMC. Other NY/North Jersey AMC paddlers on the trip report that Larry made no apparent effort to paddle away from the strainer as he approached it. His kayak flipped and he went under rapidly.

For those unfamiliar with this "feature," it was a mass of tangled trees and debris river-right on the outside of a bend not far from the portal put-in. It was generally considered easily avoidable by most paddlers, but regrettably, was not for Larry, nor for Nicole Coppolino, the girl who lost her life in the same strainer about a month earlier while tubing.

A few strong and capable AMC members bravely struggled for 10 minutes Saturday morning to extricate Larry from the strainer and promptly initiated CPR. Soon after, local EMTs arrived and took over, but it was too late.

Larry is survived by a wife and three children. Mourning his loss, KCCNY has set up a fund for Larry's family. Please consider sending a donation, whatever the amount, to help this young family. Kaykers are a close-knit group, now is the time for us to come together to help this family recover from their tragic loss.

Please send a check, payable to KCCNY, to:
KCCNY, C/O Gloria Silva
21 Hoffman street
South Hackensack, NJ 07606

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