Accident Database

Report ID# 959

  • Flush Drowning
  • Hypothermia
  • Other

Accident Description

The Snake River near Jackson, WY is Class I at best, but it has a powerful current and snag hazards. On the afternoon of July 26, 1997 Glenda Remington, 49, drowned in a kayaking accident five miles from Moose Landing.

Remington was kayaking with three friends when her kayak hit a snag and she was thrown from her boat. She was able to cling to a log momentarily, but was carried downstream before her friends could reach her.

National Park Service Rangers were advised of the incident about 45 minutes later and began a thorough search of the river in boats, on foot and by helicopter. Flight crew members spotted Remington in a small river eddy an hour later. The helicopter landed on a small gravel bar and removed her from the river. A park medic was shuttled to the scene, and after completing an assessment and consulting with doctors at St. John’s Hospital, resuscitation efforts were terminated. The cause of death has been determined by autopsy to have been accidental drowning, but the cause of the accident itself is still under investigation.

SOURCE: National Park Service Morning Report

ANALYSIS: (Walbridge)

1. It is surprising that her three friends could not make a boat rescue. This suggests inexperiencein general and a lack of rescue trainingin particular .

2. This river is very cold, and I suspect that hypothermia played a role in her death. Even if Ms. Remington was dressed to swim, she was in the water 60 minutes, a very long time. 3. If you find yourself being carried downstream, self-rescue is always your best option. She was not wearing cold-weather gear. If she had been, she might have had the strength to make it to shore on her own.

Join AW and support river stewardship nationwide!