Father, daughter die in Warrick kayaking accident

From Local Sources

CHANDLER — Indiana Department of Natural Resources conservation officers are investigating the deaths of a father and daughter who died after what appears to be a kayaking accident at Blue Grass Fish & Wildlife Area, 11699 New Harmony Road, Chandler.

Joshua Varner, 33, and Vivian Varner, 4, both of Newburgh, were kayaking on Blue Grass Pit when the incident occurred Thursday evening, according to authorities. A family member became concerned when they had not returned when expected. Emergency services were called around 7:15 p.m.

Around 9:45 p.m., authorities said, both subjects were found floating in the water. Joshua was pronounced deceased at the scene. Vivian was taken to Deaconess Hospital in Evansville where she succumbed to her injuries.

A kayak belonging to the victims was found capsized in the water approximately 500 yards away.  The water temperature was 55 degrees and the water depth where the victims were found was roughly 10 feet.

It is unknown at this time what caused the kayak to capsize, according to conservation officers.  Life jackets were not being worn by the victims when they were recovered.

Other responding agencies included the Warrick County Sheriff’s Department, Ohio Valley Search and Rescue, Elberfeld Volunteer Fire Department, Chandler Volunteer Fire Department, Boonville Volunteer Fire Department, Scott Township Volunteer Fire Department, Warrick County Emergency Management Agency, Warrick County Emergency Medical Services, Warrick County dispatch and the Warrick County Coroner’s Office.

Conservation officers reporting on the tragedy strongly encourage the use of life jackets while boating or when near water.

More on DuboisCountyHerald.com