On April 9, 2017, a family of four fell into the White River just north of the Field Drive Bridge in Noblesville when a canoe in which they were passengers overturned. The canoe capsized as a result of striking a tree that was partially submerged in the river. Following the canoe’s capsizing, the four family members were thrown into the river, with 2 of the family members able to pull themselves to shore and the other two members remaining in the water attempting to cling to a tree for safety. Officers with the Noblesville and Westfield Police Departments attempted to assist the other family members from the tree but were initially unable to only able to assist one of the victims with having a better grasp onto the tree while rescuing the other victim. Ultimately, a Noblesville Firefighter entered the river to rescue the final victim from the tree before the family was taken to Riverview Hospital for emergency treatment. Fortunately, all of the family members were released from the hospital with no life-threatening injuries, in spite of a subsequent investigation by Indiana Conservation Officers which determined that two youth personal flotation devices (PFD) were incorrect sizes for the child passengers.

As Kayaking and Canoeing have become popular spring and summer activities within Indiana’s numerous rivers and other bodies of water, proper safety training and technique is important to avoiding preventable or unnecessary incidents and injuries. Understanding the conditions of any body of water from water temperature to speed of its rapids is important to preventing various hazards from hypothermia to drowning. Lastly, to ensure that you are safe while participating in activities out on the water, always a correctly fitting PFD to prevent drowning in even the most hazardous situations. Soon the warmer weather will lead to warmer waters and increased water-based recreational activities, stay safe and contact the professional legal team at Schiller Law at 888-578-3100 or at IndyInjured.com for a free consultation and case evaluation.