Visitor Dies Following Canoeing Accident Near The Sinks

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

NPS Digest is reporting that a 65-year-old man from Ontario, Canada was seriously injured in a canoe accident above The Sinks early on Monday afternoon. He was visiting the area to attend the Ain’t Louie Fest, which includes a series of river trips loosely organized by a group of whitewater enthusiasts, and became trapped after his canoe capsized and he was swept downstream. Many of the participants are well trained in swiftwater rescue and immediately began rescue operations. They’d pulled him from the water and had begun CPR by the time emergency responders arrived on the scene. Although he’d been underwater for about a half hour and was unresponsive when rescued, he resumed breathing and his heart again began to beat, but later expired at a local hospital.

The Townsend Volunteer Fire Department, Townsend Police Department, Blount County Sheriff’s Department, and Blount County Fire also responded to the incident. Little River Road was closed for over an hour to allow for emergency traffic.

Hiking in the Smokies


Anonymous said...

Jeff, do you know if the victim was wearing any thermal protection (wetsuit, drysuit)? Wearing a PFD?
Thanks for reporting!
Moulton Avery
National Center for Cold Water Safety

The Smoky Mountain Hiker said...

Moulton - no, I don't. Those are the only details I have.

Anonymous said...

OK, thanks, Jeff.! God, I do love & miss the Smokies. First backpacking trip I ever did - early 70's - I picked the AT on the northern section. Left Newfound Gap and got to maybe 5000ft when -surprise!- it began to rain... I had a lot of stuff in my new Sears "Hillary" backpack, but unfortunately raingear was not a part of it. Long teeth-chattering night under a wildly flapping tarp & I bailed out in the early morning and got my butt off the mountain. Some start. But you know how magical the place is - I was beaten & humbled, but also hooked for life.