Tom McEwan (whitewater kayaker)

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Tom McEwan Thomas Edmund McEwan, Born March 3, 1946 is an American Whitewater Kayaker. He competed internationally on the US National Wildwater Team

Tom is credited with numerous first descents including the Great Falls of the Potomac in 1975, the 1973 descent of approx. 8 miles of Linville Gorge, with Jamie McEwan. He, Jamie, Andy Bridge and Wick Walker were the first to explore the Mexican whitewater on the Santa Maria in 1985.

In 1981 Tom participated in an expedition to Bhutan with Wick Walker, Les Bechdel, Eric Evans, Jamie McEwan, with Ed Hixon in support, on the Wong Chu, Para Chu, Pho Chu, and Mo Chu.[1]

In 1998, McEwan and his brother Jamie, Roger Zbel and Doug Gordon were the kayaking members of an expedition to run the Tsangpo Gorge, considered the "Mount Everest" of rivers. They were supported by Wick Walker, Harry and Doris Wetherbee, Paulo Castillo, and Dave Phillips. The expedition encountered unanticipated high water and ended in tragedy when teammate Doug Gordon capsized, missed his roll, and lost his life.[2]

Tom currently runs the Liquid Adventures Kayak School in Cabin John, MD.[3]


Phillips, Angus (October 1998). "Tibet Kayak Expedition Turns Fatal". Washington Post. Retrieved 2011-06-05.

Books about Tom McEwan[edit]

Wickliffe Walker (2000). Courting the Diamond Sow : A Whitewater Expedition on Tibet's Forbideden River. National Geographic Society. ASIN B001TL2O5S. Todd Balf (2001). The Last River: The Tragic Race for Shangri-la . Three Rivers Press. ISBN 978-0-609-80801-6.