Accident Database

Report ID# 911

  • Caught in Low Head Dam Hydraulic
  • PFD Fell Off
  • Does not Apply
  • High Water

Accident Description

On June 30th, two rafts containing Boy Scouts washed over a low-head dam on the Lower Animas River near Farmington, NM. The Scouts had not intended to run the drop, but were carried there by fast-moving high water. According to the Farmington Daily Times, the first raft ran the drop successfully, but the second got caught in the hydraulic at the base. Four boys fell out of their boat; three were able to grab hold of protruding rocks in the backwash, but Chase Hathenbruck, 15, was caught by the hydraulic and recirculated. Then his life jacket was pulled off and he disappeared. Rescue squads pulled the three marooned boys from the backwash along with a scout leader who needed help after making an unsuccessful rescue attempt. They also began an intense search for the missing boy. His body was eventually spotted five miles downstream by a rescue helicopter.

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