bull sluice deaths
According to South Carolina Trails, at one time “local paddlers considered it (the trail) the final exam for ‘expert’ status.”. Reportedly, no new holes were needed. We would wait for the other rafts to come down before we finished the rest of the falls. But it was the unlimited love of a mother and father, driven by an intense campaign to bring the body of their daughter home, which triggered a chain of events resulting in the largest and most controversial search and rescue/recovery operation in the history of the Chattooga River watershed. Several guides had joined in and they threw rope after rope at him, but Michael bobbed in the middle of the river, unconscious. Bull Sluice has been known to locals for as long as memory serves but only gained serious national attention after it was featured in the 1972 movie Deliverance. Left Crack is located at the third rapid in the Five Falls area of Section Four, and is a death trap at medium water levels. I was looking forward to late night card games, 12 year scotch, and camaraderie. We split off into groups and then go through some basic training on whitewater rafting. Eleven of those deaths — just over 28 percent — happened at Bull Sluice. https://www.americanwhitewater.org/content/Accident/detail/accidentid/3637/, http://www.foxcarolina.com/story/19026801/rescuers-search-for-missing-man-in-chatooga-river, http://www.foxcarolina.com/story/19045000/tn-rafters-body-found-recovery-continues, http://www.fox19.com/story/19069775/woman-remembers-husband-killed-in-sc-rafting-trip, First Some Background Info It was early 2002 and my mentor and bible study teacher, Matt Jackson, had just told…, Depression Depression is something I fight with every holiday season. It is the lower to medium water levels where most accidents occur since the undercuts, strainers and potholes lie close to the surface beneath the deceptively strong current. Peel out of the big river left eddy, go around the curler, stay out of decap (the first undercut on the right) and either eddy out above Hydroelectric Rock (also undercut) or continue on around it, punching a pretty solid hole. According to South Carolina Trails, at one time “local paddlers considered it (the trail) the final exam for ‘expert’ status.”. As we went down the river, I really enjoyed the physical challenge and teamwork of getting the raft to go where you wanted it to. As the morning rolled on and the other guys rolled out of bed, the cabin came alive with morning activities, so mostly grunting and gas. The ancient bedrock that forms Raven Chute is typical of the whole watershed. Without emotion, she asked, “Is my husband coming up?” I responded, What do I, a complete stranger, say to a woman who has just watched her husband of nearly 25 years die before her eyes? It usually hits early December and lasts through Christmas. Time slowed as my heartbeat quickened. Next up was the rest of our guys, along with a man, Michael, his wife, Mary Ann, and their grandson, Jack, and two guides. It is estimated that there are 700,000 avid whitewater paddlers in the U.S. currently, while a mere 15 years ago the number was roughly 400,000. This involved drilling a number of small holes into the riverbed. Blowing this move can lead to being sucked in to Hydro.” -American Whitewater. The guides started throwing ropes from both sides of the river. Here’s a video shot in very similar conditions (high water) to what we went down. Bull Sluice Pin on Chattooga from www.solgear.com - YouTube I protested on the spot. The Chattooga is not impounded above Lake Tugaloo, and therefore its water level fluctuates with rainfall. “No!” The lump in my throat tightened and I exhaled the breath I had been holding for 20 minutes. The guides were doing all they could do, but it was clear that we needed God’s power to show up. Elite kayakers and rafters aside, the Chattooga River itself it unique in that it offers recreation for people of all skill levels. By the time the summer of 2012 rolled around, I was in a relatively good place. They were a part of the operation, and did not want to break ranks. We did need to go down the rest of the river. After finishing lunch, I was ready to get back in the river. These young men were Chuck Yoder and his brother. Here, the crowd of mostly river guides was adamantly opposed to the decision to permit Portadam. This was what Rachel’s father needed to begin a campaign to revive recovery operations. Nobody spoke. Adrenaline flooded my body and although my vision became laser focused, the river’s violent roar muffled all other sounds. Several sections of the river are considered calm enough for beginners and there are many sandy beach areas suitable for swimming. Their reasoning was that any action to alter the river would set a precedent leading to never-ending attempts to make the Chattooga "safe." Later, I was told that turning over control of the recovery operation to Portadam was the biggest mistake made that day. 1716 Main St., Overwhelmingly, the public opposed such measures. Float parties must register at access points and air mattresses, motorized crafts or any other craft deemed “unsuitable” are prohibited. Even the 6’4″ guide with his long legs could not feel him. The other 4 would go on another raft with 2 others. By then, the "Swift Water Rescue Team" had been convened to attempt a recovery. Slowly the sandwiches, snacks, and water was passed around. I was really enjoying learning about “Experiencing the Playful, Disruptive, Extravagant Personality of Jesus”. No one had told her. They told us about Rachel’s exploits as a star athlete, as catcher on the Schuykill Valley girls softball team and on the high school field hockey team. On May 29th Rachel Troy, 16, and her boyfriend attempted to wade across the Chatooga River just 20 feet upstream of Raven Rock Rapid. But the list of dangerous spots was essentially endless, including well known rapids such as Bull Sluice, Woodall Shoals and Sock-em-Dog—all were places where one could argue that bedrock alteration might prevent future deaths. After a couple of hours we pulled the rafts ashore and took a break for lunch. Later, after confusing reports from the rescue team and the Forrest Service regarding the actual location of the body, a second attempt was successfully made with a larger portable dam. Rewind back to July 5th when a friend, DBP Admin Michael Potter, convinced me to go on a PFD trip with him down the Tuckasegee section 3 in his Squirrel 85. The following Saturday, an underwater camera mounted on the end of the pole was used from the front of a raft to scan the rapid. He wasn’t there. They also let us know that they held us, the Chattooga River Watershed Coalition, and the Forest Service responsible for delaying the recovery of her body. These dogs are trained to detect airborne scents, and were taken as close as possible to the base of the rapid in a raft. This consisted of a cable stretched between two trees, from which a Forest Service River Ranger was lowered in a harness close to the suspected entrapment spot. The problem was that the god I thought I knew was not God at all. I had to reconcile the worship lyrics “You have done great things” with my experience of really terrible things. Despite the late evening, I was well rested and full of energy. I put my arm around her and she turned her face to me. But for decades, extreme sports enthusiasts from all over the country have been heading down the Chattooga River to take on the Class IV rapids known as “Bull Sluice.”. Meanwhile, it was raining with no sign of clearing, and the water was rising. From this position, he used a long aluminum pole to probe underwater. Newberry blanks UNC Pembroke twice in twinbill sweep, Williamson jumps to No. This was not something I wanted to get involved with, as in my former professions as a river guide and a Forest Service River Ranger, I had had my fill of search and recovery operations. I borrowed a life jacket and swam across the river, where I met two old friends assisting the Swift Water Rescue Team whom I had worked with as a river guide. Back in the CRWC office on Wednesday, telephone lines were jammed by calls from people concerned about the issue of bringing in a jackhammer to drill holes in the bedrock of the Chattooga River. We decided to hold a public meeting on June 24th to air the facts. “Grab Me!” he yelled toward me. I joined another small group where we were reading. Bull Sluice is a prominent rapid on the Chattooga River on the Georgia and South Carolina border in the United States which was featured in the film Deliverance. OCONEE COUNTY — When people think of good locations for whitewater rafting or river kayaking, Upstate South Carolina probably isn’t one of the first spots to spring to mind. Here, a shouting match between some individuals had ensued over the use of the Portadam. If you swim there, ball up and allow the current to flush you around Decapitation Rock. I sat with Mary Ann and pulled Jack over and told him to sit with her. She drowned in the Chattooga River at Raven Chute Rapid on Memorial Day 1999. Later that summer I was invited to go on a white water rafting trip for a guys weekend. I had anticipated that this plan would use a more reasonable approach; however, I learned later that the issues got very polarized during a planning meeting held by the Swift Water Rescue Team the night before. God used it to draw me back to himself, with his ahavah love. 6 singles ranking in Southeast Region, Address: Eleven of those deaths — just over 28 percent — happened at Bull Sluice. They approached the rapid and slid down, but they blew the approach. “You got him?” referring to Jack. Pardon the language. From the trail there are several prime locations to watch the paddlers test their mettle against the river. In itself, this obsession was only natural for parents; yet, it precipitated bureaucratic decisions and misguided political intervention that caused the huge controversy. Raven’s Rock is a striking feature of the lower section of the Chattooga below the highway 76 bridge. I’d never been white water rafting before, so it sounded like a lot of fun to me.