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Woman injured in W.Va. kayaking accident discharged

April 18, 2006|by ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HARPERS FERRY, W.Va. - A Baltimore woman seriously injured in a kayaking accident Saturday afternoon in the Potomac River had been discharged from Washington County Hospital late Monday, a nursing supervisor there said.

Dawn S. Ruben, 39, was kayaking on the Potomac River near Harpers Ferry when she was separated from her group just before 1 p.m., Maryland Natural Resources Police Sgt. Ken Turner said.

She was 100 feet from the West Virginia shore when the accident took place.

Ruben, a research veterinarian at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, went backwards through several rapids, Turner said. She fell out of the kayak and was still wearing the waterproof spray skirt that attaches to the boat's cockpit.

The skirt was caught on a log in the rapids, which forced Ruben underwater. Turner said she was pinned there by the force of the current.

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Two members of her kayaking group found her, and one, who had a knife, cut the skirt away from the log and lifted Ruben above water, Turner said.

The other boaters performed rescue breathing, and she was airlifted out of the river by helicopter, he said. Ruben was taken to Washington County Hospital, where she was listed in serious condition Monday afternoon, Turner said.

Later that night, a nursing supervisor said Ruben had been discharged from the hospital.

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