Deaths Spark River-Kayaking Warning

TheHour.com: Boating safety experts say a combination of inexperience and unusually rough river conditions may have contributed to a kayaking accident that killed a Wilton couple Friday night.

“When I went on the Web and saw we were going to have two inches of rain, I said to myself ‘someone is going to die’,” said Michele Sorensen, owner of Norwalk-based Kayak Adventure who has been kayaking and boating for more than 25 years. Sorensen said accidents of this nature occur every year when people in kayaks venture out onto dangerous rivers. She said kayaking on rivers is four times more dangerous than open water due to unseen obstructions and currents.

“It never fails,” she said. “You get a heavy rain, people see that turbulent water and they get excited. They don’t realize how dangerous it is.”

Doreen Wallace, 50, a Norwalk native, died after the yellow tandem recreational kayak she was paddling flipped over in the river near Cannon Road some time between 5:15 and 6 p.m. A massive rescue effort was launched by several fire and police departments, and she was pulled out of the river unconscious but alive. She succumbed to her injuries later Friday night at Norwalk Hospital. The body of her companion, 46-year-old James Lind, who lived in a house on Cannon Road on the bank of the river, was found behind Wilton High School Monday afternoon.

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