Accident Database

Report ID# 783

  • Swim into Strainer
  • Head Injury / Concussion
  • Other

Accident Description

California's Cache Creek is a Class II-III run similar to North Carolina's Nantahala River. A local company runs guide-assisted trips there using double ducks and 10' rafts.

On June 15th Sandra Schoeps, 19, fell out of her raft upstream of the Bear Creek confluence. A story in The Woodland County Democrat states that she washed into a strainer and drowned.Sandra Schoeps, an au pair from Germany, was at the beginning of a multiday guided commercial rafting trip on Cache Creek in California when Sandra fell out of the two-person "banana boat." About a hundred yards below the Buck Island putin, her body was found trapped under tree branches. It was recovered the following day.

Schoeps' family sued the outfitter, Whitewater Adventures LLC, and its principal, Mark Gholson. Noting the inherent danger of whitewater paddling and the liability waiver that Ms. Schoeps had signed, the court denied the plaintiff and granted a summary judgment in favor of the defendants, ending the lawsuit.

UPDATE: I forwarded to you the initial information about the Sandra Schoeps drowning. After filing the report, I obtained a copy of the autopsy from the Yolo County Sheriff?s Department. Although the cause of death was listed as a drowning, the coroner noted lacerations on the scalp and a sub-dural hemotoma, clear evidence that she struck her head before expiring. Schoeps was not wearing a helmet. The Buck Island/Rumsey run is considered Class 2 or 2+, and the outfitters do not routinely supply helmets. I am not sure whether they have them available if clients request them.

Jade Tippett

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