River Surfing Accident & Incident Database
|CLICK TO SUBMIT AN ACCIDENT / INCIDENT REPORT|
Created by Neil Egsgard of Surf Anywhere
Individual accident / incident reports by submitters
The purpose of recording accident, incident & near miss details is to identify actual river surfing dangers & learn from what actually happens so we can reduce future risks. All information is publicly and freely available.
Accidents shown are only what was reported to this database and do not accurately show relative dangers of different waves / rivers.
|Timestamp||Description of Incident||Gear Related to Incident||Type of Injury||Links to Additional Details||Country||Region in Country (State/Province/etc)||Closest City||Section of River|
Flow at Time of Incident
Gauge Level at Time of Incident
River Section Difficulty
|Weather||Date of Incident||Time of Incident|
Submitted by Witness
|8/17/2016 8:07:58||The rope between the surfer and the board got stuck at a stone underneath the water surface. The surfer was pushed under the surface by the water flow, couldn't come up anymore and drowned.||Rope, Board||Fatal|
|8/17/2016 12:42:53||A tow rope was being used to enter a wave on the river right side of the large rock island downstream of Superwave. After catching the wave, the surfer continued to hold onto the tow rope. The surfboard perled and was thrown downstream and the leash plug pulled out. The surfer continued to body surf while holding the tow rope. After a few minutes, with no other options, the surfer released the rope and was swept downstream in to heavy white water. The surfer was not wearing a PFD and was pulled under a number of times by whirlpools. The aerated water and lack of floation made swimming very difficult. As the water sped up the bubbles left the water and the surfer was able to swim to shore just before the next set of rapids. The board was recovered far downstream. There were no injuries.||Tow rope, no PFD, leash||Near Miss||USA||Montana||Kootenai Falls||Challenging||Sunny||Yes||Kootenay River|
|8/17/2016 21:52:42||Fatality occurred on the Boise River near the Willow Lane Athletic Complex in northwest Boise. Witnesses say Taylor Wood, 23, had been boogie boarding using a rope tied to a tree. The witnesses, who are friends of the Wood say the last time they saw the man, he appeared to be pulling himself to shore with the rope. The witnesses say they walked away for a short time and when they returned Wood was under water. It's unknown exactly how long he was submerged. |
Officers say it appears Wood's boogie board became caught in some tree branches. He was found with the ankle strap to his boogie board still attached to his leg which may have been what pinned him under the water.
The friends were able to call for help, pull him to shore and begin CPR. Firefighters and paramedics continued life saving measures. However, Wood was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at the hospital.
|USA||ID||Boise||In town||NA||NA||NA||Low||NA||7/20/2013||12:53:00 PM||No||Boise|
|8/17/2016 21:58:21||Michael Nelson, 23, of Boise died Monday evening of accidental drowning, Ada County Coroner Erwin Sonnenberg reported late Tuesday afternoon.|
Witnesses say Nelson was "surfing" on a piece of plywood tied to a New York Canal diversion dam near Five Mile Road when his foot became tangled in a rope and he was pulled under the water, the Ada County Sheriff's Office reported. He is believed to have been submerged for 10 to 15 minutes before a passerby was able to free him and pull him to shore.
|Plywood and rope||Fatal|
|USA||ID||Boise||New York Canal||NA||NA||NA||Canal||NA||8/5/2014||No|
Boise River/New York Canal
|9/8/2016 10:23:22||River surfer attempted to stand up in moving current resulting in a foot entrapment. Due to being so close to shore a fellow paddler was able to make her way to the surfer and rescue the surfer from what could have been a fatal incident.||Ankle leash and no life jacket||Near Miss||USA||Colorado||Glenwood Springs||Glenwood Wave||14,000 CFS||N/A|
Two Rivers to South Canyon
|Class II-III||No||Colorado River|
|6/9/2017 9:45:49||A 50-year-old woman from the Carson Valley nearly drowned in South Lake Tahoe Wednesday after she fell off her paddle board and got caught underwater in the cold and swift Upper Truckee River.|
At 1:04 p.m., South Lake Tahoe Police and Fire Rescue received the emergency call. Sgt. Jason Cheney was less than a minute away and was first on the scene. He pulled off his vest and jumped into the water. He commandeered a paddle board from someone at the scene and paddled to the unidentified woman. Cheney attempted to pull her out of the water when he saw her ankle was still tethered to the board, keeping her underwater.
A good Samaritan came to assist Cheney and got her leg freed. He then got her to shore near the Highway 50 bridge by 1:10 p.m. and immediately started lifesaving procedures. Paramedics arrived and took over CPR and got her into an ambulance to take her to Barton Hospital.
According to Cheney, doctors there got her stable with a heartbeat and put her on a ventilator, then she was transported to Renown in Reno by CalStar.
As of 7:55 p.m. she was still alive at Renown, Cheney said.
The victim had been wearing a life preserver but it fell off during rescue attempts prior to the arrival of Cheney. She spent about 5-7 minutes underwater before Cheney was able to get her head above water.
Cheney said people who are underwater in such cold temperatures have a better chance of recovery than if the water was warm. It's easier to preserve brain functions.
|USA||California||South Lake Tahoe||Upper Truckee River||750 cfs||6/7/2017||1:00:00 PM||No||Truckee River|
|7/5/2017 6:47:39||Feuerwehr Muenchen:|
On a school trip in a eventarena, a 13-Year-old girl was seriously injured by a surfboard.
The girl was on an artificially generated wave while surfing. She fell into the water from a surfboard. The Board was thrown from the wave to the girl and hit them with full force in the neck. The 13-Year-old left the surf wave without any other help. An ambulance and an ambulance were used by the local police. Due to the severity of the injuries, an emergency ambulance has been requested by an ambulance. In order to ensure a gentle and rapid transport, a rescue helicopter was requested. After the rescue team from the rescue team, the girl was transported to a Munich clinic. Through the fast and fast-moving rescue chain, the girl was able to provide the quickest and best possible treatment.
Bei einem Schulausflug in einer Eventarena, wurde ein 13-jähriges Mädchen von einem Surfbrett schwer verletzt.
Das Mädchen war auf einer künstlich erzeugten Welle beim Surfen. Dabei stürzte sie vom Surfbrett ins Wasser. Das Brett wurde von der Welle auf das Mädchen geschleudert und traf sie mit voller Wucht im Genick. Die 13-jährige verließ die Surfwelle ohne fremde Hilfe. Durch den Sanitätsdienst vor Ort wurde ein Notarzt sowie ein Rettungswagen hinzugerufen. Aufgrund der Schwere der Verletzungen wurde durch den Notarzt ein Kindernotarzt nachgefordert. Um einen schonenden und zügigen Transport gewährleisten zu können, wurde ein Rettungshubschrauber angefordert. Nach der Erstversorgung durch das Team der Rettungskräfte wurde das Mädchen in eine Münchner Spezialklinik transportiert. Durch die schnelle und zügig in Gang gesetzte Rettungskette, konnte das Mädchen schnellst- und bestmöglich versorgt werden.
|Surf Board||Neck injury||Deutschland||Bayern||Munich||Beginner||7/4/2017||No|
Pump based stationary wave
|3/21/2018 17:12:52||I was surfing on the wave like the whole summer. That day I was alone on the wave since more than one hour. At 14:30 my friends arrived at the wave, changed clothes to neoprene and joined me surfing. Around 3pm I fell into the water (like 100 times before) the river took me and washed me down. Then suddenly I felt my floating has stopped, the water pushed me down. I tried to reach the leash on my leg to get out but had no chance against the water! At this moment I realized I was trapped! After a second try to come to my leash I knew that I am going to die within the next minutes. I didn`t stop fighting, but I was sure that this are my last seconds.|
After about 50 seconds of fighting I felt that I was floating again. A friend helped me to reach the shore. The other friend had opened my leash on the boardside! He could only reach my board which stucked on an obstacle!
I had no chance to survive that story without my friends.
I had no physical injuries but I will never forget that moments! I hope this doesn't happen to anyone else in the future.
|Leash and Surfboard||Near drowing||Slovakia||Bratislava||Bratislava||Surf Wave||11/15/2014||3:00:00 PM||Yes||Divoka Voda|
|15-Aug-2016||Leash caught on underwater rock in 3 ft deep water. Board went on one side of rock and surfer went the other. Unable to reach ankle leash to release and leash would not break. River was forcing surfer to the bottom. Struggled for 5 minutes to keep head above water with one leg pushing off the bottom. After 5 mintes, gave up struggle and the lease somehow released||Ankle Leash||Near Drowning||Canada||Alberta||Surfers Wave||30 cms||2012||No||Kananaskis|
|15-Aug-2016||Leash caught on underwater rock in 3 ft deep water. Board went on one side of rock and surfer went the other. Unable to reach ankle leash to release and leash would not break. River was forcing surfer to the bottom. Other surfers on site were able to hold victim above water and then pull him upstream to release leash entrapment.||Ankle Leash||Near Drowning||Canada||Alberta||Surfers Wave||30 cms||2012||No||Kananaskis|
|15-Aug-2016||Surfer was pinned by board against tree branches in the water (strainer). Surfer's head was underwater. Surfer was unable to free themself from board and drowned.||Board and leash||Fatal|
|Canada||Quebec||Montreal||Habitat 67||22-May-2016||No||St. Lawrence|
|15-Aug-2016||Surfer was paddling out the race course at the end of long session. River had changed recently due to construction and surfer had not scouted. Surfer did not identify large rock just barely underwater until it was too late. Surfer was briefly pinned against boulder by board with head and shoulders above water. Surfer was able to climb out of water and retreive board.||Board and no leash||Near Miss||Canada||Alberta||Race Course||30 cms||2-Feb-2016||Yes||Kananaskis|
|15-Aug-2016||Board was tied to rope that was attached to shore. Surfer fell and became tangled in the rope. People cut the rope to free the surfer but attempts to resuscitate were unsuccessful.||Rope tied to board||Fatal|
|USA||Montana||8-June-2015||No||North Fork of Flathead|
|15-Aug-2016||River consisted of rock berms narrowing river then opening into pools. Surfer was swimming downstream after board. Surfer was immediately beside berm as he went from upstream pool to downstream pool. Surf flipped upside down as he went over drop and got head and shoulder lodged in rocks with waist and legs above water. Surfer was able to free himself.||None||Near Miss||Canada||Alberta||Race Course||2006||No||Kananaskis|
|15-Aug-2016||River made a sharp turn against a rock cliff. River was fast moving and inexperienced surfer was caught between board and rock wall. Force of water pinned the surfer against the wall with their head above water. Surfer was rescued by others.||Surf Board||Near Miss||Canada||Alberta||Wall||2007||No||Kananaskis|
|21-Dec-2016||"Tomahawk Board". Surfer using NSP board, uncontrolled fall. Leash tightened when board was in the air and shot back stiking the surfer in the head. Surfer treated with stiches||NSP Board / Leash||Stiches|
|Canada||Alberta||Calgary||Old Green Tongue||32 cms|
TransAlta Barrier Dam Flow info
|N/A||N/A||June 10 2007|
No (reported on arsa forum)
|11-Jun-2015||The man fastened himself to a rock in the river and was subsequently drowned after falling into the Flathead River and being tangled in the rope.||Likely "Riverboarding" not surfing a stationary wave||Fatal|
North Fork of the Flathead River west of Glacier National Park
|7500 cfs||News Report|
|June 10 2017||Foot Entrapment. Pinned in rocks below the bridge on river right side. Eric says he owes his life to his quick release - |
releasing his board allowed him to keep his head above water, and a whistle - got the attention of his rescuer.
Eric suffered severe torque on his knee and fought to stay above water for 20-25 minutes.
|foot entrapment||near miss||USA||Colorado||Glenwood Springs|
Glenwood Whitewater Park
Interview with Eric Allen (victim)