On December 7th Hendri Coetzee was killed in a crocodile attack on the Lukuga river in the Democratic Republic of Congo. As word of the tragedy reverberated through the paddling world Coetzee was remembered as a likeable and respected paddler. Now Fluid Kayaks has stepped forward with a twenty-five thousand dollar donation to non-profit American Whitewater made in Hendris memory
On their website, American Whitewater released this statement about the donation: American Whitewater was deeply humbled to be selected as an organization worthy of this level of support, and in memory of such an individual. As with every dollar and every cent donated to us by our supporters, we'll be doing our very best and using it wisely to save rivers.
Coetzee was leading Eddie Bauer First Ascent kayakers Ben Stookesberry and Chris Kobulic down the Lukuga when the accident occurred. Read more about the accident in the orginal PL post here:
Coetzee was keeping a fascinating blog for his current expedition. Check it out here:greatwhiteexplorer
His last entry was dated November 26, 2010. He ruminates on the day to day operations of the expedition, even commenting on his doubts and fears about the upcoming challenges. His final words, however remain upbeat, As hard, warm drops trashed at our little selves and a pair of goats, we stood precariously on a unknown slope deep in the heart of Africa, for once my mind and heart agreed, I would never live a better day.
Also, the Economist ran a very well written obituary on Coetzee. Read it here:CoetzeeObit