Adult Killed, Child Hospitalized After Kayak Capsized on Area Waterway

From Local Sources

WARRICK CO. -- Indiana 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 and Wildlife Area. 

Joshua Varner (33) and Vivian Varner (4) of Newburgh were kayaking on Blue Grass Pit Thursday evening.  A family member became concerned when they had not returned when expected. Emergency services were called around 7:15 pm.

Around 9:45 pm 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.  Life jackets were not being worn by the victims when they were recovered.

Responding agencies included the Warrick County Sheriff’s Office, Ohio Valley Search and Rescue, Elberfeld Fire Department, Chandler Fire Department, Booneville Fire Department, Scott Township Fire Department, Warrick County EMA, Warrick County EMS, Warrick County Dispatch, Warrick County Coroner’s Office and Indiana Conservation Officers. 

Indiana Conservation Officers strongly encourage the use of life jackets while boating or near water.  More information on boating safety can be found by clicking on the link below.


WARRICK CO. -- (WFIE) - Indiana Conservation Officers say a man was killed and a young girl was taken to the hospital after their kayak capsized.

Family members called police around 7:15 p.m. after the two did not return from the Bluegrass Fish and Wildlife area at New Harmony Road and Klippel.

Conservation officers found the kayak upside down in the water.

We’re told an adult male was pronounced dead at the scene. A young girl was taken to Deaconess.

Conservation officers found life jackets but neither of the two victims were wearing them.

More information is expected to be released on Friday.