West Virginia's Class-IV New River Gorge was the scene of a low-water drowning on August 30th. Howard Dickerson, a 29-year-old raft guide, was paddling a high-performance inflatable kayak alongside two friends in a small raft. At Old 99 Hook (Class HI+) he ran a narrow side-slot. His kayak pinned against an undercut rock, and he was held underwater.
His buddies saw the IK go under, climbed on top of the rock, and attempted a rescue. When their efforts failed, they paddled to the take-out and notified authorities. National Park Service river rangers located the trapped boat but darkness prevented a rescue. The next morning river rangers pulled the boat from the rock, allowing the body to float free.