FAYETTE COUNTY, W.Va. (WOAY) – Over the weekend, two rafting accidents could have ended tragically.
In Pennsylvania, inexperienced rafters went over a waterfall when the group missed multiple warning signs posted in the water. A second accident happened in Georgia when a man and ten children needed rescuing after being swept over a dam.
Rafting on the New River can be just as dangerous if rafters are not careful.
“The New River is a big river. It’s a powerful river. It has class 4 rapids on the lower end,” said Eve West with the New River Gorge. “Even on the upper end where there is still water instead of white water, we get a lot of drownings that occur because people get complacent. Anytime you’re near the river, you need to be wearing a properly fitted, Coast Guard approved life jacket.”
Another way to avoid an accident is to raft with a commercial company rather than trying to maneuver the rapids on your own.