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Kayak accident claims man’s life


On 07/11/2014 at approximately 2:49 pm there was a whitewater related boating accident on the Arkansas River in Chaffee County, Colorado. The accident occurred in the Pine Creek Rapid section of the Arkansas River, approximately 10 miles north of Buena Vista, Colorado.

According to witnesses, the victim, Johnathan M. Kennedy, 40 years of age, from Fayetteville, Arkansas was kayaking in the Pine Creek rapid section of the Arkansas River when his kayak overturned in those same rapids. Kennedy, who was wearing a personal floatation device and helmet, fell into the water at the time his kayak overturned. Several kayakers on the river in the same area attempted to rescue Kennedy, however those attempts were unsuccessful.  Kennedy was finally pulled from the river approximately 1 mile south of the Pine Creek Rapids.

Chaffee County EMS responded to the scene and administered emergency CPR however efforts to revive Mr Kennedy were unsuccessful.

Other agencies that responded to the incident were the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office, Colorado State Parks and Wildlife, Chaffee County Fire, Chaffee County Search and Rescue North and the Chaffee County Coroner’s Office.