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Indiana Conservation Officers are investigating the deaths of a father and daughter who died after what appears to be a kayaking accident at Blue Grass Fish and Wildlife Area. 

Joshua Varner (33) and Vivian Varner (4) of Newburgh were kayaking on Blue Grass Pit Thursday evening.  

A family member became concerned when they had not returned when expected. Emergency services were called around 7:15 pm.

Around 9:45 pm both subjects were found floating in the water. Joshua was pronounced deceased at the scene.  Vivian was taken to Deaconess Hospital in Evansville where she succumbed to her injuries.  

A kayak belonging to the victims was found capsized in the water approximately 500 yards away.  The water temperature was 55 degrees and the water depth where the victims were found was roughly 10 feet.    

It is unknown at this time what caused the kayak to capsize.  Life jackets were not being worn by the victims when they were recovered.

Responding agencies included the Warrick County Sheriff’s Office, Ohio Valley Search and Rescue, Elberfeld Fire Department, Chandler Fire Department, Booneville Fire Department, Scott Township Fire Department, Warrick County EMA, Warrick County EMS, Warrick County Dispatch, Warrick County Coroner’s Office and Indiana Conservation Officers. 

Indiana Conservation Officers strongly encourage the use of life jackets while boating or near water.  More information on boating safety can be found by clicking on the link below.

https://www.in.gov/dnr/lawenfor/5066.htm