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Scout Canoe Trip drowning, Yahara River, Fulton, WI

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According to a police report, multiple people had fallen out of their canoes in the river’s bend near Murwin Park and were calling for help, stating that a 14 year old girl was submerged under the water.

A state trooper entered the water and swam out to the victim and another teen, who was trying to rescue her.

Officials say the trooper and the teen struggled to free the girl who was pinned underneath a capsized canoe and a submerged log.

Authorities say once additional help arrived, the girl was freed and taken to a hospital where she later passed away.

The State Patrol confirmed to 27 News Monday that everyone canoeing Saturday had life jackets on. Her brother was also swept away by the water, but he survived. 

....

“We have talked to some people…canoers, kayakers and they commented on how crazy this particular corner is on the Yahara River, with the obstructions, the current,”  Rock County Sheriff’s Boating Recreation Deputy Chris Krahn says, who also helped in the water rescue Saturday

Krahn also says just before the capsizing of two canoes with the Boy Scouts trip, four people in two other canoes made it to land after deciding it was too treacherous, and became eyewitnesses to the subsequent capsizing.

 

Krahn says having the proper safety equipment in paddle sports can be augmented by additional training.

“We would recommend you go somewhere with less current, a small local lake, or where you could walk and maybe practice these techniques, re-boarding, canoeing, kayaking and get familiar with your equipment before you come out,” Krahn says.

The Rock County Sheriff’s Office now recommends paddlers stay away from the Yahara River, the Sugar River and some other bodies of water where water levels are high.  Krahn and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Chief Conservation Warden Todd Schaller say only general, boating best-practices safety announcements were released to the public prior to Saturday.

https://wkow.com/news/2019/05/28/girl-who-died-when-canoe-overturned-was-part-of-boy-scout-outing/

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Terrible news. Sad to hear this.

I'm far from any kind of watercraft expert, so I'll defer to the folks here who know more... but in looking at that photo of the accident scene, it looks pretty sketchy to me. Lots of downed limbs, plenty of stuff to get tangled up in if someone is in the water.

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4 minutes ago, FireStone said:

Terrible news. Sad to hear this.

I'm far from any kind of watercraft expert, so I'll defer to the folks here who know more... but in looking at that photo of the accident scene, it looks pretty sketchy to me. Lots of downed limbs, plenty of stuff to get tangled up in if someone is in the water.

Sketchy places come up fast. Even with an appropriately trained adult, one can easily miss cues. I didn't learn about online water gauges until I was in my 40s!

God rest her and comfort her family.

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Sad story.  I have fairly good knowledge of the river in my area and can tell you when I would and wouldn’t take scouts out based on flow rate.  I know my river can go from canoes scrapping the bottom to life threatening rapids after a heavy overnight rain.  

I don’t know this river nor what was done to prepare for the trip.  Water levels across Wisconsin rivers are high, flow at this river seems nearly 3 times historical average.

https://waterdata.usgs.gov/wi/nwis/uv?site_no=05429500

Regardless, it is a very sad story and even if mistakes in planning were made it is a horrible lesson for all involved.  

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RIP, my condolences to the victims, friends, and family.

We depart on a 74 mile canoe trip in Arkansas in 10 days, I am sure we will get a phone call or two.  We have been watching the water levels and talking to people that are local about the route.  We are on a very low flow part of a river but it stresses the importance again and a reminder of what we have already practiced.

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