Kayaker pinned at Tacoma Rapids



Good post to point out the dangers
of white water.



Great discussion topic. Question?

pinned for 30-45 minutes with torso out of the water? how the hell did it take them so long to get her off? believe me, i know the forces involved that can broach a boat and hold it there if centered, but in class II it shouldn’t be that hard to grab or get a rope on the boat to pull it off-center so it comes off, and if the lady was well above water, she should have been able to be pulled up from the rock, which should be pretty easy to access if it is only class II. something seems odd here. any other info?

disclaimer: i don’t know this stretch of water, so i’m going on my other experiences in whitewater.

Response time

I think the 30-40 minutes includes the time it took for people to get to her. If so, I’d say it was very fast. It doesn’t appear she was padding with other people (or with people who could rescue her).

She’s very lucky to be alive.

Good reason
to buy a throw bag, and give it to your paddling buddy…

Throw Bags…
are only as good as your aim. Practice.

Only as good as your buddy’s arm
Make him/her practice with you!


A similar incident happened to me my first time whitewater kayaking (I’m an avid sea kayaker with roll) several weeks ago. My boat became pinned between two rocks with me facing towards the current. I was fortunate to have a hand plant to keep my head above water. Thankfully, I was paddling with two other safety fanatics (and kayak instructors) and they got to do their first actual (non-practice) rescue.

We ran into a few problems such as the first rope thrown got caught between the boat and rock and then had to throw another rope (my arm still hurts from that one) and guide me to shore that way. As we were working on getting my boat “unstuck,” another group of kayakers stopped and tried to help but NONE of them had a rope or throw bag making their “help” not that valuable.

We eventually got everyone back in boats with only a few bruises and scrapes. One of our party had hand paddles so that we could go fetch my paddle in the calm pool shortly down stream and all have paddles again.

Lessons emphasized :slight_smile: :

  1. Always carry a throw bag.
  2. A heavier throw bag can actually be more useful in these situations as one had to be thrown twice.
  3. Staying calm is always helpful
  4. paddle in groups of at least 2-3.