Missing kayakers found in Wayne County

WAYNE CO. – Indiana Conservation Officers located a group of kayakers on the Whitewater River in Wayne County that had been reported missing early Sunday morning. 

The three kayakers, one of which was eight months pregnant, were reported missing by family members at approximately 1:30 a.m. Sunday. 

At 5:30 a.m., Indiana Conservation Officers Matt Garringer and Cole Hollingsworth were able to locate the group within minutes of arriving on scene with the use of an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), commonly referred to as a drone. The vehicle which is equipped with a thermal sensor was able to locate the missing subjects in the dark.  GPS coordinates were taken and with the assistance of the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department, the group was able to be reached.

The group started kayaking early Saturday afternoon in Richmond. Sometime before dark, they capsized and became stranded in the remote area.  They were able to build a fire for warmth and decided to camp on the riverbank overnight.

River levels are still elevated in the area following heavy rains earlier in the week.  Indiana Conservation Officers would like to remind paddlers of the importance of scouting their route, filing a float plan with friends and relatives, and always wearing personal flotation devices (PFD’s) when on moving water.