The last few days
Trip Start Aug 18, 2008
22Trip End Nov 27, 2008
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
The first day on the Barranca Grande went well. We made good time down the technical, high consequence top section and arrived at the camp in good time even after trying to remove a strainer from the river. The evening went well and we left in good time the next morning.
The next day we scouted and ran Class A Cinco, the first of the "Four Fours", double guiding each raft and also providing good safety cover along the length of the rapid. After this we continued on and made good time to the start of the Pescados section and continued through some of the bigger rapids on the Pescados.
To describe the events which happened next, I am going to use the official statement:
"At approximately 11:30am on November 18th, 2008 Joel, a student participating on the WILD program lost consciousness while kayaking on the Antigua river 5 km from Jalcolmulco, Veracruz - Mexico. He apparently capsized in a relatively calm section of the river and it is believed that he didn't hit any rocks while upside down. His brother, Jordan was kayaking near him and pulled him from his kayak and swam him to shore attempting to keep his head above water as much as possible.
Joel was pulled to shore where several students immediately began CPR, an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED), which was on hand and was used within minutes to successfully gain cardiac function and rhythm. A rapid evacuation followed and within two hours of the incident he was admitted to the hospital in Xalapa, Veracruz - Mexico, where further testing and diagnosis are being performed. He is currently in the Intensive Care Unit at the CEMS hospital in Xalapa."
Since then we have been staying in Jalcomulco trying to keep ourselves occupied. Yesterday we went on a hike to the spot where it happened with flowers and candles, and last night we went to the hospital to support Joel´s family before he flew back to Canada. We are currently getting ready to go to Huatulco and finish the trip.
Our thoughts are with Joel and his family."