FATAL PIN IN MID FORK OF SNOQUALOME
Middle Fork Snoqualome near North Bend WA: Late February 1993
Gradient 40 fpm; Level - low; Classification III
DESCRIPTION: The "Middle-Middle" Snoquolome is a popular intermediate run containing a delightful variety of chutes and ledges. The victim, Dan Rankin, was a third year paddler; his partner was less experienced and had just switched from a ducky to a kayak. At the "slalom course" Rankin went left, dropped over a 4' high ledge and pinned vertically. As he tried to get out the boat fell over forward, breaking both his legs and leaving him hanging upside down in the water. His friend, who had run the right side of the drop, tried a wading and swimming rescues for 40 minutes before going for help.
SOURCE: Internet posting by Andree Hurley; Tim Davis at Pacific Water Sports.
ANALYSIS: This accident will hopefully discourage people from dropping blindly over ledges. This particular spot was notorious, and avoided by paddlers in the know.