sad Some more information...
Linda had about 8 years of experience paddling in the northeastern U.S.  She was a solid class IV-V boater.

Linda was with a group of 8.  I was one of the 8.  Of the 8, one individual had run the Mettawee 8 times and I had run the river once.  Linda had never run the Mettawee.  I am unsure of how many times the others in the group had run the river, but at least one other person had run the river once.

The group's experience level for creeking was high.  Some of us have been through multiple saftey/rescue training courses.

The river level was 4.25 ft/370 cfs.  Linda was vertically pinned in the second drop on the Mettawee.  

We were all aware that the rapid had changed since anyone in the group had last run the river.  We were unaware of the sieve that had formed in the middle of the second drop.  The entire group scouted this rapid on the right side of the river.  The sieve was not apparent from the right side of river.

Everyone in the group decided to run the left side of the rapid (the boof on the right no longer exists).    Seven of us ran the rapid without major difficulties.  Linda was the last in our group to run the rapid.

Safety was set for each person who ran the rapid.  Linda was thrown a rope as soon she was pinned.  She received a stabilization line within a couple of minutes.

I do not wish post any more details regarding this horrible tragedy.  I wanted to inform paddlers of the dangers associated with this drop.  Since the incident, I've been informed that pictures are posted on AW's website that describe and show the sieve at lower water levels.  Please reference these if you plan to run this section of river.

www.americanwhitewater.org

As far as I know, Linda's boat is still in the sieve.  I am going to try to remove the boat as soon as the river level is low enough.

Linda and I were very close.  I will miss her dearly.  My heart goes out to her family, friends, and all that loved her.  If you knew Linda and would like to talk to me about the incident, or would like information regarding a service, please e-mail me or post your contact information.

James

mailto:jwtilley@hotmail.com
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