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Kayaker and dog die when dog goes overboard: Icy 30 degree water kills Ohio man

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A kayaker dies after going into frigid 30 degree water to try and save his dog. Kyle Miller, 21, fell into the icy water and drowned while trying to get his dog back into the kayak, according to the Columbus Dispatch on March 16.

Miller and his friend Austin Gifford, 19, were kayaking in separate kayaks when Miller's dog jumped into the water. Both men tipped their kayaks and fell into the freezing water while trying to save the dog.

Gifford swam to shore, but Miller, who couldn’t swim, held on to his kayak to keep his head above water. He didn’t last long in the freezing temperatures and soon went under after hypothermia set in.

Franklyn County Sheriff Zach Scott said both men were trying to get the dog back to one of the kayaks when they tipped over. The recovery team divers suited up in special suits made for cold water and deep water. The kayaks went over in the middle of this deep lake, which has a depth of 80 feet in some areas.

The Ohio Division of Natural Resources Watercraft Division used special instruments to search in deep water, it took hours to spot Miller’s body. It was at the bottom of the lake in about 71 feet of water. The dead man’s family watched the recovery effort from shore but declined interviews as needless to say, they were too distraught.

This tragic accident happened at Darby Bend Lakes at Prairie Oaks Metro Park, which is in western Franklyn County.

The dog didn’t survived and its body has been recovered. Gifford was taken to a Columbus hospital for treatment, he was released the same day. Neither of the men were wearing life jackets.



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