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Two Drown In Kayaking Accident

Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area

National Park News

Three kayaks overturned on Bighorn Lake due to high winds on the evening of August 29th. Two adults and six children, ages three to eleven, were thrown into the water. The father swam to shore and called 911. National Park Service rangers and maintenance staff, Bighorn County Sheriff’s Office deputies and Bighorn County SAR responded for an operation that lasted into the night. Two of the older children made it to shore without assistance. Between 10 p.m. and just after midnight, three separate recoveries were made of the remaining family members. The mother and the two younger kids that she was holding were brought in at the same time. These three were transported to a Billings hospital for definitive care. Two other children who had become separated from their mother did not survive.  The high wind event causing large waves and the night operation were factors in the incident and presented challenges to the rescuers. 



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