[From the National Park Service Morning Report – 12/23/97]
Jonathan Harris, 26, of Hokes Bluff, Alabama, was negotiating a narrow chute over a two-foot-high fall on the Little River on December 22nd when the front of his kayak became lodged under some rocks and the back of the kayak became submerged under the falls. Due to the strength of the river and the narrowness of the chute, he was unable to right himself or get out of the kayak.
Two friends who were photographing him from rocks in the river tried to free Harris from the kayak for over 30 minutes but were unsuccessful. After exhausting all efforts to free him, they hiked out to seek assistance.
Rescue teams worked approximately five hours into the night to free Harris and haul him over a thousand feet up 75 to 85 degree slopes to the rim of the canyon. Over 40 people were involved in the incident, including NPS and state rangers and local fire and rescue teams.
[Information received later revealed that the Little River was at an extremely low water level that day. The accident occurred at a ledge above Bottleneck on the Chair Lift Section. – Editor]
From The Eddy Line, February 1998