From the Duck River in Tennessee to the Blue River in Kansas, people headed out of doors to enjoy recreation on these typically relatively placid scenic rivers. In both instances, people hit the water kayak. Sadly, on both the Duck and Blue rivers what was intended to be an enjoyable afternoon of aquatic recreation turned tragic. On both rivers, a kayaker died.
The Duck River incident involved a mother, father, and their 15-year-old daughter spending a Sunday afternoon kayaking. At about 2:00 p.m., the kayak shared by all three family members was heading through what is known as Courtner’s Mill. Courtner’s Mill is an old low-head dam on the Duck River through which water has cut a channel through the years.
While maneuvering through the channel, the kayak somehow capsized. The trio of family members were all wearing lifejackets. After the capsize, the young woman was swept by the river’s current into a downed tree. She was pinned underwater. Despite valiant efforts, the teenager’s parents were unable to free her from the downed tree and died by drowning.
Hundreds of miles away outside Overland Park, Kansas, a man was kayaking on the Blue River near this Kansas City enclave. He evidently was enjoying the river on his own. Witnesses initially reported the capsize of the man’s kayak, the kayaker being swept down the river. At this time, no information is available about whether or not the man was wearing a lifejacket. His body ultimately was retrieved from the water at Kansas City.
Approximately 3,500 people die in drowning accidents not associated with a watercraft like a kayak each year, according the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 350 more individuals lose their lives annually in drowning accidents involving recreational watercraft, including kayaks, according to the CDC.
An important point to bear in mind about aquatic accidents involving watercraft like the kayaks in this pair of tragic cases is that an error by a victim as well as weather or water conditions are not the only reasons why people become injured or even die. Oftentimes, a third-party of one type of another is the real underlying cause of an aquatic accident involving a recreational watercraft. If not solely responsible for causing this type of aquatic accident, something a third-party did or did not do is a primary contributing factor.
Both of these cases are under investigation. Beyond weather not thought to be a factor in either of these drowning deaths, nothing else is yet publicly known based on the work of investigators.
Beyond a mistake by a Kayaker or an individual enjoying time on some type of watercraft, there are a number of more commonplace underlying cases for these types of accidents:
Defective equipment is a relatively frequent cause of a watercraft-related accident. For example, in the case of the kayakers who lost their lives, a kayak itself could have a manufacturer’s or some other type of defect. A lifejacket could have a manufacturer’s or some other defect as well.
During the summertime months, businesses are in operation that provide people watercraft like kayaks for their use and enjoyment. Sadly, every year there are operators of this nature who are negligent in their maintenance of watercraft and other items rented by recreational enthusiasts. Indeed, these types of operators have been found to be negligent in a variety of other ways as well.
If you’ve lost a loved one in an aquatic accident involving a recreational watercraft, or if you or a member of your family have been injured in such a situation, you must come to a clear understanding of the actual cause or contributing causes of the tragic event. Moreover, if a third-party is deemed to be a cause of the accident, you must understand what steps you need to take to protect your legal interests. The first of these steps is to contact an aquatic accident lawyer from The Doan Law Firm. A nationwide law practice, we’ve offices from coast to coast across the country and can schedule an initial consultation and case evaluation with a skilled, experienced aquatic accident lawyer at your convenience. We can even arrange a consultation online.
You can call us any time of the day or night at (800) 349-0000 to schedule an appointment with an aquatic accident lawyer. There is no charge for an initial consultation. The Doan Law Firm never charges a fee unless we win for you.