I am once again saddened to hear of another whitewater paddler death on the upper Gauley River in West Virginia – a favorite place of mine to photograph whitewater kayakers and rafters. The Gauley River is one of the premier whitewater rivers in the country. It attracts boaters from all over the world who test themselves against the powerful and dangerous river.
Today’s fatality is the third death in less than a month on the Gauley River. This time, a kayaker drowned at the Pillow Rock Rapid after overturning. According to a press release from the National Park Service he came out of the kayak at the class 5 rated rapid and got trapped under a rock. Boaters freed the man, but efforts to revive him where successful.
ABOVE: Slideshow of whitewater paddlers navigating the Pillow Rock Rapid on the Gauley River which drops 30 feet over the course of the rapid. The photos were taken during the 2009 Gauley Fest weekend. Those who spilled made it back to their kayaks and rafts safely. (Slideshow requires Adobe Flash).
To license image, click image. To see our collection of fine art prints, click here.