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Man killed in kayaking accident on North Carolina river

A man was killed after a kayaking accident on a Western North Carolina river (WSOC)

BUNCOMBE COUNTY, N.C. — A 56-year-old Florida man was killed in a kayaking accident on a river in Western North Carolina Tuesday morning, according to WLOS.

The kayaker has been identified as Delmer Melvin Garratt of Lakeland.

An overturned kayak was reported along the French Road River at 10:13 a.m. Deputies were dispatched to the scene at 10:26. a.m., with the first deputy arriving at 10:31 a.m.

Angie Ledford of Buncombe County EMS said a rescue swimmer was sent in, but after spending about 10 minutes in the water, he was unable to get to the kayak, which was about 50 feet offshore. Responders then tried using a rescue boat.

Ledford said that this part of the French Broad River is not known as a dangerous area for kayakers, but they have had to do occasional rescues near Ledges River Park.

Authorities said Garratt was alone and there were no friends or family on scene.

Tuesday’s incident is the fifth kayaking death of 2018 that either happened in the mountains or involved someone from the region.