Kayaker injured in rapids accident

Tuesday, May 21, 2013 6:02 PM
Last updated Wednesday, May 22, 2013 2:24 AM
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Three kayakers survived being sucked through the Augusta Canal Headgates on Tuesday afternoon.

A kayak instructor and a man and his wife were swept under the canal headgates and had to be helped out of the water about 150-yards down stream. A woman with injuries that were not life-threatening was transported to the hospital.  JIM BLAYLOCK/STAFF
JIM BLAYLOCK/STAFF
A kayak instructor and a man and his wife were swept under the canal headgates and had to be helped out of the water about 150-yards down stream. A woman with injuries that were not life-threatening was transported to the hospital.

Three kayaks – an instructor and a husband and wife – were paddling near Savannah Rapids Pavilion when they were sucked through the gates that channel the Savannah River into the canal. Their names were not released.

Terry Anthony, an Augusta Utilities employee working at the Lock and Dam, said she saw the kayakers and tried to direct them away, but the current carried them through the headgates.

“There were three kayaks,” Anthony said. “He (the instructor) was already coming out through and he said they wouldn’t paddle.”

After calling 911, Anthony chased the kayaks down the canal and helped drag the woman, who was clinging to her kayak, to the shore 150 yards past the headgates just in front of the pedestrian bridge.

The woman complained of shoulder pain and was taken by ambulance to the hospital, accompanied by her husband.

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Gage Creed
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Gage Creed 05/21/13 - 06:56 pm
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I think I will take a

I think I will take a different class....

GaKayaker
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GaKayaker 05/21/13 - 08:57 pm
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Instructor?

Come on you guys can at least give the name of the wanna be instructor. Any nut calling himself an instructor would have never put other paddlers in that situation. I kayak a lot. It is standard practice for any kayaker to practice a high level of safety. You would not as an instructor take students anywhere near the locks. So who is the instructor???

itsanotherday1
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itsanotherday1 05/21/13 - 10:01 pm
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My thoughts too gakayaker.

My thoughts too gakayaker. I've done a fair number of guided whitewater raft excursions over the years and it is safety, safety, safety. Too much can happen too quickly in moving water. Not to mention, these two kayakers don't look to be in any kind of form to be in anything but shallow flat water.
I'm happy it wasn't worse for them; it could have been fatal.

nocnoc
42748
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nocnoc 05/22/13 - 08:30 am
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LAWSUIT

I can already see the lawyers fighting over whose turn it is to sue ARC.

David Parker
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David Parker 05/22/13 - 09:00 am
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UN-Freaking-Believable

How lucky is everyone involved? Sounds like the instructor may have been trying to keep the two novices from going down but couldn't make it happen and went down with them.

On a personal note, I've always wondered if you got pulled under would you pop up on the other side or be lodged down in there. I jumped from the ledge into the area on the right and then made my way out to the spillway to shoot the rapids there. Pretty dumb, but in my defense, I was a teen and that was just one example of my idiot phase where I put my life in danger.

Dixieman
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Dixieman 05/22/13 - 09:06 am
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Okay, now for lesson two

Something is very wrong here. Beginner kayakers should not be anywhere near this location!

Rob Pavey
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Rob Pavey 05/22/13 - 09:31 am
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of all the places for a beginner kayak lesson....

dixieman's right - there aren't many places on the savannah less suitable for a kayak intro. those canal gates suck out as much as 80 percent the river's entire flow. I also wondered if these folks were wearing life vests?

debby
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debby 05/22/13 - 11:54 am
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I also wonder what kind of a

I also wonder what kind of a kayak they were in: recreational, whitewater, etc? As a whitewater kayaker myself, a pfd and helmet are ALWAYS worn, always.

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