Kayaker dies in Clark County after capsizing on Ohio River

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CLARK COUNTY, Ind. — A body was recovered from the Ohio River Saturday night, which has led Indiana Conservation Officers to open an investigation. 

Multiple agencies responded to a 911 call after a kayaker capsized across from the George Rogers Clark boat ramp in Clarksville.

According to preliminary investigation, 28-year-old Travis Hughes, of Pewee Valley, Kentucky, was kayaking with his 30-year-old girlfriend and his 30-year-old brother, both of Pewee Valley, shortly after 9 p.m. Hughes’ girlfriend’s kayak capsized after it encountered a wave, and Hughes capsized his kayak when he attempted to rescue her.

His girlfriend swam to an island nearby, where she was picked up by a Clarksville Fire Department rescue boat a short time later. Hughes’ brother remained upright in his kayak and searched the water until rescue crews arrived.

Around 11:30 p.m., Hughes’ body was located and recovered floating just out from the hydroelectric dam across from the boat ramp. The Clark County Coroner’s Office took possession of the body and will rule on the cause of death. Toxicology results are pending.

Officials say no life jackets were present or worn by any of the kayakers. Conservation Officers strongly encourage boaters to always wear life jackets when onboard a watercraft, regardless of the size of the waterway.

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