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2 adults dead, child hospitalized after kayaks capsize at Lake Pueblo

Deaths are seventh, eighth of the year at Lake Pueblo
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Posted at 8:37 AM, Oct 24, 2022

DENVER — Two adults died and a child was hospitalized after their kayaks capsized because of high winds and large waves on Lake Pueblo Sunday afternoon.

The incident happened around 3:23 p.m. Sunday near the Sailboard beach on the north shore of Lake Pueblo State Park.

According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife, an adult and a toddler in one kayak capsized because of waves kicked up by winds that were gusting 35-45 mph at the time.

Two other adults, each in their own kayak, tried to go help the two but both of their boats capsized as well, according to CPW Southeast Region spokesperson Bill Vogrin.

Three CPW rangers arrived — one in their truck and two by boat — and found all four people in the water. Ranger Kristopher Gard, who drove to the scene, jumped in the water, grabbed the toddler, and performed CPR until paramedics arrived.

The child was flown by helicopter to a hospital in Colorado Springs, according to Vogrin.

One of the adults who died was recovered by the two other rangers. The other was recovered about an hour later when the park manager used an underwater drone to find the person in about 20 feet of water, CPW said.

“This is another heartbreaking tragedy and we send our deepest sympathies to the families and friends of these victims,” Park Manager Joe Stadterman said in a statement. “We continue to urge everyone to pay close attention to weather conditions and to wear life jackets when they are on or near the water so we can avoid future tragedies like today.”

The two people are the seventh and eighth to die in water-related deaths at Lake Pueblo this year. Colorado has already seen 38 water-related deaths this year. If the two people who died Sunday are confirmed to have drown, 36 of those deaths would be by drowning. Those numbers already top the number of water-related deaths in both 2020 and 2021.

The Pueblo County Coroner’s Office identified the two victims as Larry Foster, 26, and Catherine Dawes, 44, both of Colorado Springs. The coroner's office said autopsies had been scheduled and their families notified.