Edited by comprex - 4/19/11 at 4:50pm
Kayaking during major flood events is the best time to kayak.
I'd say there is a good chance that the person in the water:
1. Should not have been in the water(beginner most likely in a "rec" boat and no roll. 2. Was obviously not with a group of people.
I'd imagine what happened here is the same as people who venture out into the backcountry without proper gear/support/education, thus making those who do boat the big water(with proper safety) look bad.
The Potomac is really full right now, still some flooded areas near the shore in DC.
Don't know the details on this particular incident.
The Potomac is a fairly high volume river even during non-floods, but looks very benign to casual observer. This fools a lot of neophytes from the heavily populated surrounding area and lives are lost on a regular basis as a result.
old photo from 2010