Shannon Christy Of Greenville, SC Dies, Recovered From Potomac River

10:19 PM, Jul 11, 2013   |    comments
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GREAT FALLS, Md. (WUSA9) -- Police have identified the woman who died during what was supposed to be a practice run for this weekend's world re-knowned kayaking competition, the Great Falls Race. Instead, it became the last time 23-year-old Shannon Christy would paddle the fast moving rapids of the Potomac river. 

Three hours into the search, Montgomery Fire and Rescue Services pulled out the body of a kayaker reported missing in the Potomac River in the area of Great Falls.

Thursday, Chuck Thornton watched on as rescuers tried to save his friend beneath the rocks. He would not tell us her name but confirmed she was in her early 20's, and was from South Carolina. On Friday , police released her identity: 23-year-old Shannon Christy of Greenville, South Carolina. 

Christy and her paddling partner were preparing for this weekend's kayaking competition, the Great Falls Race. 

"The race was going to be over the same lines that she was kayaking," Thornton said.

Christy's kayaking partner was visibly upset when he was rescued and brought ashore. Thursday investigators said somehow she came out of her kayak, took off her life vest, and tried swimming to the Maryland side of the river.

While fire-rescue boats sat in calmer waters nearby, it was Christy's fellow kayakers that performed the daring recovery in a part of the river known as "The Fingers." It's notorious for massive rocks and dangerous rapids.

Jason Beaks was the man leading those recovery efforts. He said, "That is what expert kayakers do. It's part of our sport, is being prepared to act and situations we hope never arise, but our community is prepared to make that kind of effort."

It was all these paddlers could do to try and save their friend. Now, they are left grieving trying to make sense of it all. "We are just incredibly saddened by the lost of our friend," said Beakes.

Friday, police said that Christy was attempted to kayak down the falls, but disappeared and was pinned underneath the water.
 
No determination has been made on whether the race Christy was training for will happen on Saturday. 

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