Kayaker missing

I have been following this with interest.


I have (power)boated this water. It is up river from where I live and paddle. It’s flat water with gentle currents. Biggest hazards are boat and barge wakes.

Be careful out there!

Consider putting this on the Discussion

On second thought…please don’t

– Last Updated: Nov-14-07 12:22 PM EST –

Although this could be another tragic loss I don't see any relevance to the paddling community here.
What lesson will be learned? The man was an experienced outdoorsman, swimmer and paddler with plenty of knowledge of the waters.
No details or assumptions are included other than the fact that he didn't normally wear aPFD. Had he read a similar story that morning I doubt that he would have change his opinion of wearing one. I don't normally wear one and I've read this story and many like it. It is an unfortunate accident...ost deaths are.

The lesson to be learned is simple
Wear a pfd----wearing a pfd makes you almost Christlike in your ability to stay on top of the water—I’m a pretty good swimmer but I always wear one—there really is no reason not to other than hubris and/or pure mule headed stubborness

I’m both mule-headed and stubborn, you’re right about that . . . .

Sorry I bored you with this!
Hit close to home with me.

was not posting to you…
it was addressed to GK…

This story is the Second in as many years about kayakers in this SAME stretch of water who died paddling without PFD’s looking for Arrowheads…

Caveat: MY supposition…

Years ago the FEDS imported alligators to combat an exploding beaver population…with the thought that the cold winters would eventually kill off the gators.

Beavers are gone, the gators are still here, and this particular stretch of water is fed by Flint Creek, where the Wheeler Wildlife Refuge HQ and visitor center is…gator involvement?..I’m thinnin mebbee…

do post
Maybe it is morbid curiosity. Maybe it is just the wish that some sort of learning can be gleamed from these. But I do appreciate the postings of kayakers in trouble.

And I will leave it to the KHE forum nazis to patrol which forum a post should be put in…

Go ahead and post
Posts like this don’t hurt anyone and at the very least may help remind the old folks and new comers to the sport to think before you do something stupid.

Don’t mind those crotchety old bastards they think they know and have heard it all. The argument never ends around here when a missing canoeist or kayaking death is posted. Don’t worry god will get even with them someday. I hope I die on the water so they can give me the coveted Darwin award…Lol maybe it will set the record for longest post!

UGA has troubles with Gators too

Don’t do it…

There are plenty of reasons not to wear
one at certain times.

  1. One could be a killer on a 95 degree day. I can site a case.
  2. All they do is get in the way in a race. That is why one of the race insurers doesn’t require wearing them.
  3. absolutely stupid to wear one in water that is no more than three feet deep, such as a shallow river.

    And lastly there is no law requiring that you wear one.

    We all have a choice and we all have a brain. I use mine in accordance with the conditions I am in and the weather.

    I don’t know about you, but I can slip mine on when I am out paddling and I can put it on when I am in the water.

    Lots of my friends wear them and lots of others don’t.

    We all paddle together and no one tells the other what to wear and what not to.



"And lastly there is no law requiring that you wear one."

Uh, yes there is in a lot of states. Here, we have to wear them from Oct 1 thru May 31 or face a fine, and possible confiscation of our boats and gear (They usually don’t take boats because it’s too much of a hassle). I got ticketed for it in 1981, so the law has been on the books for a long time.

There was talk of making them mandatory year-round a couple of years ago. Don’t know where that went.

Anyway, it all depends on what state you’re in as to what you can and cannot do.

I disagree with you on pfd usage, I will defend to the death your right to have your own opinion–you are after all an adult and if you choose not to wear a pfd, then that’s your decision. Puts you in the same catagory as bikers who don’t wear helmets and drivers who don’t wear seatbelts—your choice nobody elses

I could still drown in 3 feet of water if I have a heart attack, stroke, etc. Staying afloat would be one less thing to worry about if I’m wearing a pfd.

Cheery thought, huh? :smiley:

PFD wear…

– Last Updated: Nov-15-07 11:22 AM EST –

I always wear my pfd when I'm paddling.

I don't care if it's 30 degrees, or 100 degrees.
I don't care if it's class 1, or class 4.
I don't care if the water is 2 foot deep, or 30 foot deep.
I don't care if I'm on the river, or on a lake.
I encourage others to wear their pfd all the time, but what other adults choose to do is their decision. I hope it is a well reasoned decision on their part.

That being said; many people(who always wear their pfd) would do well to do a little research on the type of pfd they wear. The "vast majority" of pfds that kayakers, and canoeists wear, will "NOT" keep your face out of the water if you are, for whatever reason, unconcious.
They are not designed to do so.

Wearing a pfd does not make you drown proof.
Not wearing a pfd certainly does not decrease your chances of drowning in most situations.

I am of the opinion that being aware of those who you paddle with (where are they/what are they doing/do they need your assistance?) & their being aware of you, is a safety factor that too many paddler are too careless about.

Solo paddling: Adult makes well reasoned decision & is prepared for the possible, natural consequences, either positive or negative.


True, but
at least I’ll stay afloat. Easier to recover the body. :wink:

Seems the body has been found
They have found a body that they believe is the body of the kayaker. On shore on a running trail. Not sure his PFD would have helped.

November 15, 2007

Breaking News from NewsChannel 19:

The body believed to be a missing kayaker was found this morning. Todd Palmer had been missing since Friday.

A jogger found the body this morning, near the Point Mallard golf course running trail.

Teams have been searching for Palmer since Saturday. They have dragged the Tennessee River. Divers have also looked for him in the murky waters.

Palmer had pushed off from the bank of the General Electric plant in Decatur Friday. He contacted a friend later that afternoon, and said he was coming in, but never made it.

Crews found Palmer’s keys, truck and kayak, as well as his life jacket.

Another confusing story

– Last Updated: Nov-15-07 1:58 PM EST –

when the stories don't match.

From the original posting's news article

"At about 12:30 Sunday afternoon, volunteers found some of Palmer's belongings.
His kayak was located half a mile down the river from the G.E. boat dock.
His jacket, with his cell phone and truck key, were found in the water also close to the dock at just before 1:00 p.m."

...---... / ...---... / ...---...
so before we make any assumptions let's let the story unfold.

Sorry for his family
But at least they have some closure, if it turns out to be him.

Any number of things could have happened, including his shedding clothing that was encumbering in order to swim to shore. No info to suggest what his likely actions might have been in a capsize. It may also be that there was limited chance he’d have encountered anyone to help him upon getting to land - it’s warmer down there but I suspect that prime golfing season has still passed.

Regardless, won’t be any sure answers on this one.