Kayaker Dies Paddling Linville Gorge

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An Atlanta man has drowned kayaking in Linville Gorge.

Saturday night, William Halliburton, “Burton” Greer was found on the Linville River near the Pinch-In Trail on the western side of the gorge. The trail is located off Old North Carolina 105. WSOCTV reports that A team of about 50 emergency responders from multiple agencies worked nearly six hours in the dark to get to them. The difficulty of accessing the river in Linville Gorge makes rescue efforts a challenge.

Greer’s kayak became lodged on a rock, just downstream from a Class IV rapid. A group of kayakers who found Greer attempted to resuscitate him but were too late. He was pronounced dead at the scene. According to family, Greer knew WNC rivers well, reports the Citizen-Times.

Usually a shallow river system, heavy rains bring kayakers from all over the region to challenge Linville Gorge’s rapids.

This is the second kayaking death this year, following the passing of WNC kayaking legend, Maria Noakes.

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