Boating accident in high winds takes two lives

Shenandoah river

~ PVN staff report

LURAY, May 9 — As of Monday morning, officials with the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources still were not giving out further information beyond a press release issued Saturday evening following a tragic boating accident in Page County that claimed two 21-year-old lives.

“On May 7, 2022, around 2 p.m., the Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) received a call about a canoe that had overturned, leaving two brothers unaccounted for in the water,” the press release reads. “Earlier, three brothers (ages 21, 21 and 19) were out enjoying the day canoeing on Government Pond in Page County and as they tried to turn directions, the wind picked up and the canoe overturned throwing all three men in the water.”

Winds were gusting between 25 and 30 miles per hour on Saturday afternoon around the time of the accident. Canoeing is not recommended with winds above 17 mph.

“Two brothers went under and one swam safely back to shore to call for help,” the press release continued. “DWR, along with Page County Sheriff’s Office, Page County Fire and Rescue, and the Shenandoah Volunteer Fire Company dive team, were able to recover the [bodies of the] two missing men after a few hours.”

Wildlife Resources reported that no lifejackets were being worn in the boat. Government Pond is in the area of Page Valley Estates, just west of Luray.

Inquiries made to the Page County Sheriff’s Office were directed to DWR, who took the lead in the incident.

“DWR sends their condolences to the family of the victims during this unimaginable time,” the agency’s press release reads. “Please remember to always wear your lifejacket.”

The identity of those involved has not been released by DWR or other officials.

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