Accident Database: Accident #971

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Date: 1994-09-19
Victim: Kenneth Baker
Victim Age: 20
River: Chattooga
Reach #:
Chattooga [SC]
high
00h47m
Section: Section 3 - Earls Ford to Route 76 Bridge
Location: Dick's Creek Ledge
Gauge: 10 feet
River Difficulty: III
Accident Cause: Swim into Strainer
Cause Code(s): Swim into Strainer
Injury Type(s): Does not Apply
Factors Code(s): High Water
Age: 20
Experienced/Inexperienced: Some Experience
Private/Commercial: Private
Boat Type: Raft
Group Info:
Other Victim Names:
Detailed Description:

RAFTER DROWNS ON FLOODED CHATOOGA RIVER

Section III near Clayton, Georgia: September 19, 1994 Gradient - 45 fpm; Guage - 10'(flood); Class(Normal flows) - II-III

DESCRIPTION; On September 19, 1994 the Chatooga River was running at 10', a near-flood level that few experienced boaters would find appealing. Kenneth Baker, 20, arrived at the put-in with two friends and a 14' rental raft. Section III is Class III at normal flows; the few experts who have tried it at flood report huge water.

At Dick's Creek Ledge, a 6' high sloping shelf, the group's raft capsized in a monster hole. Two of the men made it to safety, but Baker was swept into a log jam and pinned beneath it. His body was not found for two days. S

OURCE: Dave Perrin, NOC; NORS Currents

Non-Witness Narrative by CCW on 2006-01-22 (okay to publish): RAFTER DROWNS ON FLOODED CHATOOGA RIVER Section III near Clayton, Georgia: September 19, 1994 Gradient - 45 fpm; Guage - 10'(flood); Class(Normal flows) - II-III DESCRIPTION; On September 19, 1994 the Chatooga River was running at 10', a near-flood level that few experienced boaters would find appealing. Kenneth Baker, 20, arrived at the put-in with two friends and a 14' rental raft. Section III is Class III at normal flows; the few experts who have tried it at flood report huge water. At Dick's Creek Ledge, a 6' high sloping shelf, the group's raft capsized in a monster hole. Two of the men made it to safety, but Baker was swept into a log jam and pinned beneath it. His body was not found for two days.

SOURCE: Dave Perrin, NOC; NORS Currents

ANALYSIS: Flood water is extremely dangerous. The group's inexperience gave them no chance to cope with the challenge. The two survivors are very lucky to be alive.

Report Status: Reported

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