GLEN JEAN, WV (WVNS) — Summertime in the Gorge means outdoor enthusiasts come out to hit the rapids in the most exciting season of river rafting they can find, but the fun doesn’t come without some risk.

There are several hazards when it comes to the world of river rafting, one of the more extreme cases being the “strainer.” A strainer is formed when a large log gets jammed and creates an obstacle in the rafts way. The strainer allows the current to flow through but doesn’t allow the raft to pass meaning rafters can get overturned and thrown into the sharp limbs of the tree. These hazards can be scary, even for experienced rafters.

On Sunday, August 28, 2022, three River Rangers with the New River Gorge National Park Service were able to remove a large strainer from the Upper Railroad Rapid. The Rangers positioned their boat above the strainer, placed rope onto a branch and then used a mechanical advantage system to remove the tree.

New River Gorge River Rangers Bill Parker (left) and Matt McQueen (right) removing the large tree

Removing this extremely dangerous hazards is just one way the River Rangers keep countless boaters safe to enjoy the rapids!