A capsized kayak in heavy winds and waves led to the death of two adults and the hospitalization of a child in Colorado on Sunday.
Witnesses said a kayak carrying two adults and a child capsized in the heavy waves of Lake Pueblo and gusted winds traveling from 35-45 miles-per-hour, according to a press release by the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Service. Two more kayaks capsized as they attempted to help the boat with the three victims.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife rangers arrived to the scene around 3:23 p.m. and found four victims in the water, according to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Service. Ranger Kristopher Gard dived into the water, grabbed the toddler and performed CPR on the child. The child was then transported via UCHealth’s LifeLine helicopter to a hospital in Colorado Springs.
2022 ranks as Colorado’s deadliest year on the water with 36 fatalities. Of those, 34 were recreation-related drownings. If today’s deaths are confirmed to be drownings, they would make 36 rec-related drownings and 38 total water deaths. In 2020, CO had 34 total and 22 in 2021.
— CPW SE Region (@CPW_SE) October 24, 2022
Rangers Joe Portteus and Josh Kloshime recovered the first deceased victim “almost immediately” and used an underwater drone called a Remote Operated Vehicle to locate the other victim, the press release said. The technology had to be used since the water’s conditions were too rough to use SONAR equipment. (RELATED: Two People Die After Boat Full Of Family, Friends Capsizes In NYC)
Stadterman located the remains in water that was an estimated 20 feet deep within an hour, the press release said.
“This is another heartbreaking tragedy and we send our deepest sympathies to the families and friends of these victims,” Stadterman said. “We continue to urge everyone to pay close attention to weather conditions and to wear life jackets when they are on or near the water so we can avoid future tragedies like today.”
Colorado has witnessed 38 water-related deaths in 2022, and the recreation-related drownings rose to 36 with the deaths of these two victims, the service announced. There were 34 water-related fatalities in 2020 and 22 in 2021.