301 - Ocoee River Hydrology and Hazards information begins with Alien Boof and Mikey's. Both have been scenes of fatalities. The the intention of this page is to help other boaters and guides avoid tragedies. While I hope to convey the nature of these hazards these videos are no substitute to taking the time to inspect them in person yourself at low water. I will certainly return to these locations to further investigate. The nature of the world is impermanence. These features are subject to change over time or quickly during high water events. Be informed and be safe out there people.
Mikey's is the first Class IV rapid encountered on most Upper Ocoee or Full River commercial rafting trips. The alternative would be Alien Boof. However most outfitters avoid this rapid due to a dangerous cave and sieves present. that have killed an experienced Ocoee River guide and well known Class V private boater and kayaker. Both Mikey's and Alien Boof are rated at Class IV at levels run commercially. Commercial rafting trips have 3,000 cfs cut off. CFS stand for cubic feet per second. If you are interested in the hydrology and hazards at Mikey's and Alien Boof see my video and consider making the hike when the water is off..
The cave at Alien Boof was well known by the pioneers of creek boating in the southeast. However it was apparently not well known among rafting companies and guides until a terrible accident in 2005. Mikey's primary hazard is foot entrapment as explained in the companion video to this article. Foot entrapment is a very avoidable hazard. Unfortunately many commercial guests to do not pay attention and head the warnings given in the safety speech made before each trip. Never stand up in moving moving water. Keep your nose and toes above the water. Also note the undercut rock discuss in the video. Guest should stay down in the raft until clearing this rock. If expelled from raft never attempt to stand. Most recent commercial fatality and injuries at Mikey's occurred in 2011. Look through the accident database for more information.
These accidents are tragic and often avoidable. commercial guests should always be attentive to safety talks and follow guide instructions carefully. Guides should be well acquainted with the river and hazards present. It is my hope this article can help prevent future accidents in the above locations. Watch the video and take the hike to inspect if you guide or private boat these rapids.
Continue reading to learn more about the hydrology and hazards of the Ocoee River.
I am Fast Fred Ruddock and I would be happy to give you honest answers to your questions about rafting or the Ocoee River. You may email me directly with your questions or concerns at email@example.com and if you would like to come rafting with me be sure to check out Fast Fred Rafts for the latest details.
When I started this online Ocoee River Rafting Guide in 2016 there were none available online or in print. I'd like to this this is still the best Ocoee River Rafting Guide available. That said feedback is always welcomed and this is a constant work in progress.
I began rafting whitewater when I was young during the early 1970 with my family. We had several of our own rafts between my parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles. My family loved playing in the water; I grew up rafting, sailing, and surfing. As I grew older and technology improved I began to get serious about kayaking and creek boating as well. I became an ACA certified kayak instructor and have shared the sport with countless others over the years. Living along the banks of the Green River in North Carolina I have access to some of the best world class rapids to hone my skills.
During my long off-season from rafting I primarily travel solo through Latin America. Ecuador is likely my favorite country to visit but I also enjoy Peru, Guatemala, and Mexico. Working as a river guide in the southeast during summers in North America I don't earn a lot of money and live close to the federal poverty level. In spite of this I live a rich life on a frugal budget. If you would like to learn more about traveling in Latin America or maybe some frugal travel tips visit Fast Fred Travels.
Curious about how I can travel so light or what I use on the river? Want to know more about the gear I carry abroad on my extend trips in Latin America or while rafting and kayaking? Here's your chance to dig into my Amazon shop for an inside look. If you make purchases via this shop I will get a very small commission but it will not increase your price what so ever.