Rescuers immediately began CPR when Loveall was finally pulled from the water. All five got back into the boat, but Clark, who was not wearing a wet suit, went into cardiac arrest. "Safety is our primary concern so the three incidents have caused us to go back and look at everything we are doing," said Lewis, a guide since 1981. Please purchase a subscription to read our premium content. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners who may combine it with other information that you’ve provided to them or that they’ve collected from your use of their services. All Rights Reserved. HUNTINGTON -- Three recent unrelated deaths of people who were with professional whitewater rafting guides on the Upper Gauley River have shaken an industry that prides itself on safety while guiding people on a high adventure. Please purchase a subscription to continue reading. "That canoe was still there on Oct. 15 when I ran the [Lower Yough] again." Whitewater lovers from throughout the country and around the world will head to West Virginia for Gauley Season, which begins Sept. 11. American Whitewater reports that on average, there are only 6 to 10 whitewater rafting deaths for each 2.5 million user days on guided rafting trips. Class V Whitewater Rafting in Friendsville, MD. And as boaters got better, they began to branch away from racing. The skill level of this tour is 4 on a scale of 1 to 4. We hope that you continue to enjoy our free content. Some call this section of the Youghiogheny River the ULTIMATE CHALLENGE. In 1976, the Maryland DNR declared the Yough a “wild” river from Miller’s Crossing through Friendsville. By the middle of the 1970’s, Garrett County was experiencing a coal boom, and the Youghiogheny corridor was their next target. They sat around the fire the night before, warming their boats so they could patch them, as the thermometer hovered … Because of the challenging nature of this section of river, everyone participates in the adventure. The river itself was in the middle of nowhere. The river was running at 2.5 feet, making the rapids tougher than usual . Several charities report reduced donations this year. Our location in Friendsville, MD is right on the Upper Yough River. Is there a different demographic and are people going on the river who are unhealthier and maybe older, and maybe with medical problems that make them pre-disposed? Even then, all of your gear was home made. At that point, they knew the Upper Yough as two things. The Upper Yough Race started in 1981, and continues at the end of July every year. The world-famous fall Gauley River season runs for two more weekends. Expert guides, Falls City Pub, Outfitters Store, Bike rentals for GAP trail and Ohiopyle State Park. Laurel Highlands River Tours and Outdoor Center, Ohiopyle White Water Rafting, Hiking & Camping. They scraped their way through the shallow gravel beds before finally arriving at Gap Falls. Weird & Wacky, Copyright © 2020 HowStuffWorks, a division of InfoSpace Holdings, LLC, a System1 Company. "It's a dangerous activity and you wonder if maybe we have just been fortunate for many years," said Stewart, who worked three seasons as a full-time raft guide for Wildwater Expeditions beginning in 2001. Imre Szilagyi bought the land that is now the official put-in and allowed private boaters access. Lewis said the first two deaths this year were similar in that younger men were flipped into the water, rescued quickly, but then went into cardiac arrest, according to the New River Gorge National River, which oversees rafting on the Gauley and New rivers. They know the river extremely well and are passionate about white water rafting. Even in class III, when a quarter million people run the rapids, deaths are more than possible. An expert run! Have things changed about the guests and the people doing the river? He was taken by air ambulance to Summersville Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 1:28 p.m. His death too was considered a drowning. Although the park … In the third death on Friday, Oct. 2, a 30-year-old Fishers, Ind., man, Shane Loveall, died at Summersville Memorial Hospital after he fell from a raft into the Class V rapid called Lost Paddle and became pinned under water. Our guides help foster a strong sense of teamwork and camaraderie, which is necessary to navigate the increasingly difficult rapids. Even the Upper Yough had problems with sewage from Oakland, and abandoned mines in the West Virginia headwaters. Tom McEwan’s first run on the Upper Yough came on a bitterly cold spring break trip with his brother Jamie. If you do need one, all of the rafting companies rent wetsuits for a nominal cost and which keeps your body warm and insulated from the cold water. A truly exceptional Upper Yough rafting experience awaits! A multi-boat commercial trip was having a good r un until a raft dumped at Little Niagara, a powerful ledge below Tommy's Hole , putting three people in to the water. Upper Yough Rafting Advanced: 10 miles of steep, tight, and technical whitewater that will surely fulfill the most adventurous rafter's expectations. Pennsylvania Department of Natural Resources, Information about the device's operating system, Information about other identifiers assigned to the device, The IP address from which the device accesses a client's website or mobile application, Information about the user's activity on that device, including web pages and mobile apps visited or used, Information about the geographic location of the device when it accesses a website or mobile application. Acid mine drainage, logging, and poor sanitation meant that most rivers left a bad taste in your mouth. So be sure to check the release schedule listed below. You will receive a picnic lunch at the river’s edge. Even in class III, when a quarter million people run the rapids, deaths are more than possible. So when boaters of that era found themselves on the Upper Yough, they were tiptoeing their way around the edges, doing their best to avoid the carnage that marked so many early trips. As your trip begins, the water is calm and tranquil. This varies so please don’t hold us to it. A We have looked at it and there is no common denominators among these. In other words, there is one death for every 250,000 to 400,000 "person visits" of whitewater rafting. Be Nice. Lewis said it is crucial for people to be honest with themselves on their physical condition and ability as well as being upfront with their guides about any medical conditions. The North Branch of the Potomac and Cheat were dead rivers, and the Casselman and Lower Yough were barely supporting life. Threats of harming another Pictured is Sweet's Falls rapid on the Upper Gauley. Terms of Service, accident on the Upper Yough on May 17. Winds light and variable.. A clear sky. Interestingly though (and you'll see a theme developing here), most of the deaths on the Yough are along the relatively benign Lower Yough, where rafting newbies flock in droves. The word “communist” became commonplace among the residents, and they organized a network of communication to keep out-of-towners from enjoying the area. Chief Ranger Gary Hartley of the New River Gorge National River reported that the industry went from 1998 to 2006 without a fatality from a professional whitewater company running the Gauley, which has more than 100 named whitewater rapids in less than 30 miles of river. We want people to have had the experience of being on the Lower Gauley especially, because that is something comparable so they know what they are getting in to.".
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