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Chris Wheeler - gone but not forgotten

The River Dart is a committing white water trip in high river conditions, and Chris would have known this better than many as he kitted up for a kayaking run yesterday. One of the most serious risks on high water rivers is becoming pinned by a rock or tree, unable to move due to the pressure of water piling onto the your kayak. Unfortunately, Chris got caught on a tree, and despite the efforts of two of his paddling mates, died on the river.

I'd met Chris at the Bitches tidal rapids where for many years, TYF organised the Bitches Freestyle Kayak Contests - Chris stood out for his competence, safety awareness and good company. Chris, your presence will be missed next time we paddle out. Take care.

Reader Comments (1)

Very sad news.

I recall, when I was the editor of Ceufad, reporting on deaths - one year there were five in Wales alone and I seriously questioned why I was involved in paddling. Later when I was Chair of WCA there were occasional tragedies too.

But it is easy to be too much of an outsider looking in. Experienced kayakers know and choose to take the risks because they know also of the joy and enhancement it brings - a life lived too safely is an opportunity missed.

Condolences to all who were near him.

November 22, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMark

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