Kayaker Shannon Christy Dies on the Potomac

Was practicing for Great Falls Race

Caty Enders

For exclusive access to all of our fitness, gear, adventure, and travel stories, plus discounts on trips, events, and gear, sign up for Outside+ today and save 20 percent.

Kayaker Shannon Christy has died on the Potomac River while preparing for this weekend’s Great Falls Race. She was 24.

According to fellow paddlers, her boat became hung up on rocks under Potomac Falls. Before she disappeared, she was seen to remove her PFD and attempt to swim to shore.

Kayakers on shore, including Jason Beakes and Steve Fisher, attempted a live bait rescue, but the Class-IV rapids made next to impossible. Video of the recovery effort, which took over two hours, can be seen below.

The 26th annual Great Falls Race will include a memorial service for Christy at 11 a.m. on Saturday.