Kayaker survives 100-foot drop in first descent of Ozone Falls

By GrindTV.com/ David Strege Updated at 2013-01-20 10:01:52 +0000


GrindTV - Three kayakers scouted Ozone Falls and its 100-foot drop that no one had dared run in a kayak previously and saw it raging after the torrential rainfall in the Southeast. "Honestly, it looked like...you could knock yourself out or break your back," Chris Gragtmans told Canoe & Kayak. Scared, but knowing it was possible to run, Pat Keller geared up for a first descent of Ozone Falls in Cumberland County, Tennessee.

In case you're wondering, there is a good reason Keller didn't capture video from his helmet camera. The camera ended up at the bottom of the pool beneath Ozone Falls, which has been called by kayakers as the Holy Grail of the Southeast. Watch the incredible drop: After the drop, in which Keller ditches his paddle halfway down and loses his helmet camera, the crew measured the height of the falls at 101-102 feet. By comparison, Niagara Falls is 167 feet.

"The impact's exponentially larger the higher you get...talking bone-breaking, face-smashing, any of the bad things--knocked unconscious, break your neck," Keller said.

So Keller ought to be thankful that his only casualty was his helmet camera.