We went White River Rafting down the Mighty Kennebec in May of 1992 on our school's Project Graduation Trip. I mention May because with Spring run-off, the river was flowing pretty good before they opened the gates to the dam.
So being 18, I got in front of the raft and about 1/3 mile into the trip the White Water Rafting guide says "row", I look at her and say, "F-You, I'm holding on." She apparently did not think much of that and went up one side of me, then down the other and made it absolutely clear that when she said row, I was too row.
So we get down to Magic Falls and I am paddling for all I am worth and we hit the falls and the raft taco's, which is, it folded inward like a taco. I am on the bow so I fall into the boat, but as I climb back on the outer tubes, we drop over the other side. With the raft falling backwards, I just keep going and flip completely out of the boat. When I did, my foot got caught on the rope that goes around the outside of the raft. So here I am going down through class 5 rapids, with my foot stuck on a rope bouncing off rocks and looking up at the underside of the raft. Oh yeah, major point here; I was underwater so I could not breath.
So the guide is freaking out as later retold from my class mates who told me she took out her knife and cut the rope. That was nice as I bobbed back up to the surface but now was free floating at 30 mph into very sharp rocks in very cold water. When I got near shore I would try and reach for the roots of trees sticking out into the water, but by the time I went to grab them, I was zipping by so fast that I would miss them. Finally after we hit some calm water, I was behind the raft like 75 feet or so. They said to always go down feet first on account of rocks, but all I wanted to do was get in that stupid boat, so being a strong swimmer, I went head first and swam as fast as I could where the guide pulled me up into the boat.
If you are so inclined to try white water rafting down the mighty Kennebec, I highly recommend you stay in the boat. I am not sure what the trip would be like inside it, but it had to be better then bouncing down the river in a life jacket. That SUCKED!
Video of those inclined to see what I am talking about. Magic Falls starts at 3:15 into the video if you want to visualize what it would be like trapped UNDERNEATH a raft going over that!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ki063qwR4E