Man dies in kayaking accident on river

PHOTO BY JACOB GURNEY Clinton Township Volunteer Fire Department personnel search the Sandusky River for a man who fell out of his kayak Sunday afternoon.

A Tiffin man died in a kayaking accident on the Sandusky River north of Tiffin Sunday afternoon.

Deputy Denny Wilkinson of Seneca County Sheriff’s Office said after the man was rescued from the water, he was taken by Tiffin Fire Rescue Division to Mercy Health — Tiffin Hospital, and he died at the hospital in the emergency room.

The Seneca County Sheriff’s Office identified the man as Carl Henkel Jr., 30, of Tiffin.

Wilkinson said it was reported a kayaker was in trouble and he had put the kayak in at Huss Street. He said the man must have hit a wave, capsized and came out of the kayak. Wilkinson said the man was not alone and had been with a couple of other people.

Chief Kevin Veletean of Tiffin Fire Rescue Division said Tiffin Fire, Clinton Township Volunteer Fire Department and Old Fort Volunteer Fire Department put boats in the water for the rescue. He said the crew from Tiffin Fire Rescue Division was the group that found him and made the rescue.

“They removed him out of the water and brought him to shore,” Veletean said.

Wilkinson said the man was found near Steyer Nature Preserve.

From the time the boats were in the water, the rescue took about 15 minutes to locate the man and get him into a boat, Veletean said. Once he was found and gotten out of the water, crews started to give emergency care by providing advanced life support, he said.

Veletean said the department’s boat was on the river, near Haack Farms, when they located the man and was able to get him out of the water. Crews then were able to get the boat back upriver about 100 yards to a private lane where crews from Old Fort Volunteer Fire Department met them on shore and helped get them up a lane.

Sgt. Walter Hodgkiss of Ohio Department of Natural Resources said the department was investigating the kayak accident. Further information was not available Sunday.

The incident was reported at 12:10 p.m. and Clinton Township Volunteer Fire Department, Old Fort Volunteer Fire Department, Tiffin Fire Rescue Division, Seneca County Water Rescue Team and North Central EMS responded to the scene.