Accident Database

Report ID# 94248

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  • Foot Entrapment
  • Poor Planning

Accident Description

Four expert to very experienced boaters with swift water training were cutting wood out of the river channels prior to the season starting.  The entire stretch of river was roadside so boats were not indicated.  None of the team had safety equipment on other than one in a drysuit and one in fishing waders.  The victim of the foot entrapment was 5 feet off the left bank cutting a the top off a large log.  The remainder of the group was onshore watching.  The log broke while cutting it unexpectedly.  The the log began to move and the victim attempted to hand the chainsaw to the group onshore before jumping into what appeared to be a somewhat shallow channel and floating in to an eddy on the left.  As the chainsaw was secured on shore the upstream top of the log with many partial branches floated downstream above the victim and ultimately pinned the victims foot to the bottom of the river while his downstream body was in chest deep water.  A group member on the boulder above the victim held the victims arm for support.  The team member with the drysuit moved in down stream of the victim to hold his torso steady and upright helping to maintain his head above water and the last group member in waders was upstream of the victim and was able to move the log which released the victims foot.   

In retrospect all team members should have had drysuits or similar, pfds, helmets, at least one pin kit.  Only experienced and trained individuals should utilize the chainsaw.

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