He learned to canoe at summer camp in the early 60’s and began paddling whitewater seriously while attending college in 1967. He has paddled rivers throughout the US and Canada and made several first descents. He was an A-ranked C-1 slalom and wildwater racer in the mid-70’s and worked part-time as a river guide until the mid-eighties. He has collected and published reports of U.S. whitewater fatalities for over 30 years. He is a well-known writer on whitewater safety issues and has written books and magazine articles on the subject. He’s served as an expert witness in many wrongful death cases and is quoted often in newspapers and magazines.
Charlie has been active in both the American Canoe Association (ACA) and American Whitewater (AW). He held the position of Safety Chairman for both organizations and now serves on the AW Board of Directors. As a member of the ACA Instruction Committee he helped develop programs in whitewater canoeing and swiftwater rescue. He is a swiftwater rescue instructor-trainer-educator and trains students and instructors.
Charlie’s newest book, Whitewater Rescues, is coming in April 2024!
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Praise for Whitewater Rescues:
—Mike Mather, ACA Safety & Rescue ITE, Rescue 3 International Instructor Trainer, Higgins & Langley Award Recipient
—Teresa Gryder, ND; safety chair, Lower Columbia Canoe Club (WA)
“Charlie’s collection of whitewater accidents and successful results is a read worth your time. It underscores clear meaning: that if we don’t understand and analyze the mishaps and mistakes of those who have gone before us, we are most certainly going to repeat those occurrences and, without proper action and quick thinking, suffer the consequences. I believe Charlie has shared paddling experiences to guide us toward safer paddling.”
—Virgil Chambers, National Safe Boating Council
“I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in whitewater safety and especially for all paddling instructors.”
—Charlie Duffy, ACA swiftwater rescue instructor
“Charlie continues his lifelong contribution to whitewater safety with Whitewater Rescues. The book is a pleasant twist on accident prevention and boating safety.”
—Robert B. Kauffman, PhD; author and boating-safety expert
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