Re: Kayak Fatality

Posted by Sailboy on Mar 3, 2005

Thanks for the chart detail. BTW, the winds that night were predicted before the group left the ramp - but they had no NOAA weather radio (according to the Dean of Students). It was an near gale off-shore wind (northeast) that would have set the flotilla farther offshore.

Everything I've seen about the leader and his company Orr-treks indicate that he was a freshwater/whitewater boater and licensed whitewater raft guide. That doesn't qualify him for open water marine boating. At 10 passengers he was at the limit for CG licensing. At least he should have had the trappings of a captain (radio).

The details of the 911 emergency call are the most telling. He couldn't reach SAR because all he had was cell phone from Georgia. His 911 calls were sent to Rome GA. Eventually he reached his wife who spent 2 hours with Georgia 911 to find the USCG. USCG spent 4 more hours searching because they had no radio contact with the victims. They had a large search area "between Coon and Cat island". Hall's students had to direct the CG to find Hall, who was at that point sitting in a swamped canoe waving a flashlight several miles distant.

At that point the USCG helicopter had exhausted it's fuel, and the rescue boat was at full load with students. Sean Wilkinson and Clay McKemie were left in the Gulf.

In Response to: Re: Kayak Fatality by Ice - Phil on Mar 3, 2005