Accident Database

Report ID# 2716

  • Caught in Low Head Dam Hydraulic
  • Does not Apply
  • High Water

Accident Description

 (Lowhead dam drowing that received a lot of local TV and newspaper coverage. Note the follow-up article confirms that the victim died of drowning and was wearing a PFD. High water from spring rains have resulted in several media-covered canoe/kayak rescues in the area but this is the first paddling fatality I know of)

Police Identify Kayaker, 30, Who Drowned Catholic Charities worker's death is 2nd incident in 2 weeks at Noblesville site

By Kevin O'Neal

June 28, 2008 NOBLESVILLE, Ind. -- A man from Japan was identified today, a day after city firefighters pulled his body from the White River, authorities said. Shingo Takura, 30, of Yokohama City in the Kanagawa Prefecture, died after he went over Riverwood Dam northeast of Noblesville.

A coroner confirmed he drowned, police said today. He was in Indiana working for Catholic Charities through the Indianapolis Archdiocese, according to a Hamilton County Sheriff's Department news release issued Friday.

Firefighters gave him emergency cardiopulmonary resuscitation and rushed him to Riverview Hospital in Noblesville, where he was pronounced dead Friday. The victim and a companion started their kayak trip in Anderson, according to the Sheriff's Department. Sometime Friday afternoon, they became separated on the river. The companion contacted the Madison County Sheriff's Department, which notified the Hamilton County Sheriff's Department to check the area. Hamilton County sent several officers to the area, and some people along the river told officers the man was fine, the news release said. Shortly after 6 p.m., the Hamilton County Communications Center received a 911 call reporting a possible drowning victim. The man's friend found him in shallow water south of the dam along the Ind. 37 side of the river. The victim's kayak was not there, the Sheriff's Department said.

Firefighters used boats to reach the victim, said city Fire Department Division Chief Rick Russell. The drop from the top of the dam to its base is about 10 feet, Russell estimated. Heavy rains have made the river run deep and fast for the past month. A U.S. Geological Survey gauge downstream from the dam showed the depth was 6 feet, a foot and a half higher than Thursday's readings. "It's still very dangerous," Russell said. "People don't understand how dangerous the water is." The incident was the second in two weeks at the dam.


On June 14, three kayakers went over the dam and were found hanging on debris. Noblesville firefighters rescued the three and found that one had suffered a cut foot. The two others were uninjured.

Official Says Kayaker Drowned In River

Posted: June 29, 2008

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. -- A Japanese man who drowned while kayaking down rain-swollen White River was wearing a flotation vest, the Hamilton County Sheriff's Department said Saturday. Shingo Takura, 30, Yokohama, was traveling downstream from Anderson on Friday when he went over the Riverwood Dam. His kayaking partner, who had fallen behind on the trip, caught up at the dam to find Takura in the water below the dam, said sheriff's Deputy Vicky Dunbar.

Noblesville firefighters used a rescue boat to reach Takura, who was next to an island in the middle of the river. Firefighters performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Takura was pronounced dead later at Riverview Hospital. An autopsy by the Hamilton County coroner showed that Takura drowned, Dunbar said. Takura, who was living in Indianapolis, was a resettlement specialist handling refugee programs for Catholic Charities Indianapolis.

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