Drowning in Upper Gauley during White...

Drowning in Upper Gauley during Whitewater Rafting Trip

There are 10 comments on the WOWK story from Sep 19, 2010, titled Drowning in Upper Gauley during Whitewater Rafting Trip. In it, WOWK reports that:

A female has died while whitewater rafting on the Gauley River. SUMMERSVILLE -- According to the news release, officials with the National Park Service, West Virginia Division of Natural Resources and Songer Whitewater report that the unidentified female a oedrowned after falling out of her raft near a rapid known as Iron Curtain.a The accident ...

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i was there

Morgantown, WV

#1 Sep 19, 2010
it was not iron curtain... it was iron veil - - different rapid... very differnt -- miles apart

Beckley, WV

#2 Sep 19, 2010
I raft the Gauley, i know of Iron Ring, but neither curtain nor veil. /shrug
Bob Kirk

Oak Hill, WV

#3 Sep 19, 2010
There is an Iron Curtain on the Upper, never heard of Iron Veil?

Charleston, WV

#4 Sep 19, 2010
I was there today when this happened. The girl was in a different boat, but same trip as me. The rapid was called Iron Curtain, there is a rock at the end of the rapid that is good for high siding on and if you don't do it correctly your boat will flip. Her boat flipped and she disappeared. we actually spotted her helmet floating down the river and picked it up and put it in our boat and started looking around for the person without a helmet. I guess she got pinned under a undercut rock. My thoughts and prayers are with her family
No such rapid as Iron Veil..
irresponsible rock

Summersville, WV

#5 Sep 20, 2010
what makes a rock above an undercut "good for high siding on"?
raft guide

Northampton, PA

#6 Sep 20, 2010
There will be plenty of time for questioning the actions that led to this tragic event. As a guide who has seen several deaths on this river in the past few years my heart and prayers go out to the family and those involved in the search and rescue. May they all find solace and peace however hard that may be at this time.

Mount Hope, WV

#7 Sep 20, 2010
I'm not sure why you're mincing words here. At some point in the very near future, authorities are going to ask whether or not this was an intentional flip on the guide's part, as circumstances would seem to suggest to irresponsible rock and raft guide. I hope for his sake it wasn't.
Concerned Guide

Pinebluff, NC

#8 Sep 20, 2010
I've owned, managed, and guided for rafting companies on the New and Gauley Rivers for over 33 years. The rapid is Iron Curtain. Most rafting companies will say they don't want to endanger customers needlessly, however very little is said or done when guides flip, dump or intentionally force their raft through areas that will result in customers swimming. For example Box Canyon in Sweets Falls, Guides Revenge, and many other play spots with consequence lurking down river. There are many places to surf, play, and swim with safe water down stream but this (Iron Curtain) is not one!

Most guides have no idea what dangers lay beneath the surface. Example: first, second and many third year guides see the river only during the Gauley season, with water releases between 1800cfs and 2500 cfs. Now days most companies have some type of training. New guides will raft down the river with a trainer or seasoned guide, stopping along the way to scout the major rapids of the upper section. The trainer will instruct where to run and what to avoid. Sounds good but wait. I've hiked the river at 500cfs which exposes many dangers that most have never seen in the so called small rapids. These dangers include many undercuts and foot entrapment possibilities. I have also rafted it at 3800cfs and know that there is a huge difference in safety concerns.

I am of the opinion that Owners and Managers need to step up and hold guides accountable for some of their actions. Not all swims, dumps, and flips are the guides fault. But when the crowds gather so big that there is standing room only to see the
carnage in the Box at Sweets falls and no one puts a stop to it something is wrong.

United States

#9 Sep 20, 2010
I was at the gauley yesterday camping out at the lake campground getting ready for a run on the river when this was taking place down below. It is a solemn reminder of how dangerous the rapids can be and what lurks below them as concerned guide pointed out. To think that some of these guides purposely flip the boats to entertain others makes me sick. Especially in a river like the upper Gauley. I am a kayaker and have never taken a guided raft trip. I almost took my wife this weekend and we would have rode the upper, but she didnt want to go. I guess now I'll think twice before sticking her on a raft at someone elses mercy. Please pray for the family of this young girl and this terrible loss they are suffering.

United States

#10 Sep 20, 2010
Rode Upper Gauley yesterday. Was at Iron Curtain 90 seconds after this with a different company. Very, very sad. My wife refuses to raft again (I can't blame her). I won't point fingers, I'm a rookie rafter, but if it was an intentional bump, flip, what have you, the possiblility of a treat like the Upper becoming off-limits in today's letigious society... well... think about it.

My heartfelt thoughts and prayers to her, her family, the tour she was on and the guides and recovery teams that they find peace.

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