Date
Victim
Victim Age
River
Section
Location
Gage
Water Level
Difficulty
Cause
Cause Code(s)
Injury Type(s)
Factors Code(s)
Private/Commercial
Boat Type
Group Info
Other Victim Names
Status

Accident Description


Mike McDonnell, the whitewater paddling coordinator for the St. Lawrence University Outdoor Program in upstate New York, reported a drowning on the Oswegatchie River. It happened on March 15th below Gouverneur. Three young men flipped a canoe while attempting to run this Class I-II stretch. Water levels were high, but well below flood stage. The boat was loaded at near to capacity, making it less stable. No one was wearing a life vest or cold water protection when they hit the icy water. One man made it ashore and called 911. Another was stranded on a small island. The third person, Robert Versailles, 19, disappeared. After several unsuccessful attempts to rescue the man on the island with a rowboat, rescue squads called in a military helicopter! The two survivors were treated for hypothermia at a local hospital and released. Dive rescue teams, working from a motorized inflatable, found the body early the following morning.