Accident Database

Report ID# 902

  • Swim into Rock or Sieve
  • Does not Apply
  • Other

Accident Description

Moist Slot on Colorado’s South Boulder Creek is a solid Class IV drop with a hole at the bottom and a sieve just below. On June 3rd James McFarland, 34, scouted the drop and set safety for his friends.

Then, according to, he handed his rope to a friend and went upstream to make his run. He got stuck in the hole, flipped, and was pushed downstream into the sieve. Here he was pinned with his head more than a foot underwater.

As two members of his group attempted to help him, a third paddler climbed up to a riverside bike path and told a passing biker to get help. Ten minutes later another group of kayakers arrived. Together they set up a Z-drag and pulled Mr. McFarland free. His estimated time under water was between 18 and 30 minutes. They pulled him ashore and performed CPR for 30 minutes. Paramedics took over, but could not revive him.

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