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2 dead, child airlifted at Lake Pueblo after kayaks capsize during high winds and waves

LAKE PUEBLO DROWNING
Posted at 6:19 PM, Oct 23, 2022

LAKE PUEBLO, Pueblo — Two kayakers are dead, and a toddler was airlifted Sunday afternoon after their kayaks capsized in Lake Pueblo.

It happened just before 3:30 p.m. near the Sailboard beach on the north shore of the lake.

According to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife, a kayak with one adult and a child capsized in heavy waves.

Two other kayaks, each with one adult, tried to help before also capsizing.

Ranger Kristopher Gard arrived in his truck and plunged into the water to grab the child. He began CPR until emergency crews arrived. The toddler was flown by Lifeline helicopter to a hospital in Colorado Springs.

Rangers Joe Portteus and Josh Kloshime arrived on scene by boat and recovered one adult in the water.

Winds and waves were too rough for the search-and-rescue boat's SONAR equipment. Park Manager Joe Stadterman launched an underwater drone and recovered the remains of another adult.

The two kayakers were identified as 26-year-old Larry Foster and 44-year-old Catherine Dawes, both from Colorado Springs.

Next of kin have been notified.

“This is another heartbreaking tragedy, and we send our deepest sympathies to the families and friends of these victims,” Stadterman said. “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.”

These deaths mark the 7th and 8th water-related deaths at Lake Pueblo this year.

2022 ranks as Colorado's deadliest year for water-related fatalities with 38. Of those, 34 were rec-related drownings. If the two deaths today are confirmed as drownings, they would be added to the rec-related count. In 2020, Colorado had 34 total water fatalities.

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