Accident Database


The accident database allows American Whitewater to track safety information about whitewater sports. American Whitewater uses this information to help warn other boaters of hazards on a river, educate the public about the risks of whitewater sports, and to argue liability issues with landowners.

For example, in 2004 American Whitewater used accident statistics comparing our sport to other competitive sports to estimate that mountain biking is far more dangerous than kayaking on a per user basis.

The accident database is contributed to by the public and edited by the safety committee of American Whitewater. By submitting an accident request your helping to build awareness of the safety issues surrounding whitewater sports and supporting river access.

Reporting an Accident

If someone gets hurt on a river, or you read about a whitewater-related injury, please report it to American Whitewater. Don't worry about multiple submissions from other witnesses, as our safety editors will turn multiple witness reports into a single unified accident report.

To report an accident on the American Whitewater website, go to our Safety Page located under the “Our Organization” menu option. Click on the link that says “Report an Accident”. You will be taken to a form that requests the specifics of an accident. Enter as much information as you can recall about the accident.

When you choose a state, you'll have the option to choose a river as well. By choosing the river, you'll link your accident information to the river description page to allow other people to know about it. If you don't know a piece of information, leave it blank and write as much as you can on everything else. The safety editors can fix the information later. For example, if you don't know the boat manufacturer, you can leave it set to none. There is a description field in which you can enter as much information as you possibly can recall, and another field called “text attachments” can be used to copy and paste a newspaper article (please mention the name of the newspaper). You will be given the option to share your description in the text attachments with the public or keep them private. You will also be given the option to share your name with the public or keep it private to the safety staff in American Whitewater only.

After you're done completing the information, hit the add or update button to finish your submission. If you receive new information on the accident, simply submit another accident report.

Searching for Accidents

Accidents can be searched by the general public by going under the search menu on the American Whitewater website and filling out the form for accidents or by going to the Safety Page on the American Whitewater website, clicking on “accident database” and filling out the form at the bottom of the page.

Accidents are initially reported to the American Whitewater website through a public submission. After the safety editors have completed their report, the reports are placed in the American Whitewater website as formal reports. Only the formal reports can be searched.

You can search by year, country, state, and victim name among other fields.

To browse the American Whitewater safety database, go to the Safety Page and click on “accident database”. You'll see a bar that says “browse” with drop downs per year and state. By selecting your state, the display will refresh with formal reports pertinent to the criteria you select.

Formalizing an Accident Report

Only safety editors can formalize accident reports. A formal accident report is the verification compilation of one or several accident reports by American Whitewater website users. To start formalizing an accident report, choose “create formal report” from the public submissions.

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