Accident Database

Report ID# 3820

  • Flush Drowning
  • PFD Not Worn or Present
  • Hypothermia
  • Cold Water
  • Inexperience
  • High Water

Accident Description

We had a death here in Bartholomew County, Indiana today. The preliminaries are: deceased is Enrique Quinonez, 27, originally from Miami FLA and late of Kalamazoo MI. His buddy that survived is Alex Cruz of Columbus IN but also originally of Miami.

They put on the Flatrock River (class 1) in in Noblitt Park in Columbus, IN and made it approx 1/4 mile just past the 8th street bridge in recreation boats, bought at a box store two days prior.  The river was in flood and coming down but was still well into the trees lining the bank. Neither man had a PFD, drysuit, paddle top or pants. They were wearing shorts and T-shirts. Air temp when they put on was probably no higher than 45 degrees, rose to 53 degrees around 3:30pm when I left search area.

According to friends on the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Dept. the deceased capsized near the middle of the flow and began to struggle because he could not swim. Mr. Cruz who obviously had no boat skills then bailed out of his boat and tried to rescue his buddy and got him to within 10 feet of the river left bank and lost him, and the victim submerged and drowned.  The river was in flood and out of its banks by about 8 ft. and a turbid muddy brown.  The victim’s corpse was found on an underwater snag 6ft. from the bank and 30 ft. from the capsize.

Join AW and support river stewardship nationwide!