Accident Database

Report ID# 50121

  • Swim into Strainer
  • Health Problem
  • Heart Attack / Heart Failure
  • Inexperience

Accident Description

Fast water with class I-II rapids. This was a club trip. Life vests were worn. Dennis had years of experience and was very safety conscious.

CHENANGO FORKS (WBNG) — The latest on a fatal kayaking incident on the Chenango River. 3:05 p.m. New York State Police have identified the kayaker has 72-year-old Dennis Healey of Chenango Forks.

Police say the initial 911 report stated three kayakers were in distress near the fork of the Chenango and Tioughnioga rivers. According to investigators, troopers at the scene learned that two kayakers were able to get out of the river on their own but one kayaker was unconscious after his kayak overturned.

A group of people were performing CPR on Healey when a trooper and a sheriff’s deputy crossed the river to assist. The trooper and deputy entered the water with their throw bags and a kayak and were able to bring Healey cross the river to the opposite shore, where CPR continued until an ambulance arrived. Healey was subsequently pronounced dead.

State police say the investigation found that Healey was kayaking with a group of people that launched at the Chenango Bridge area. Witnesses observed Healey capsize and become entangled in debris, according to police.

Authorities say Friday’s autopsy revealed that Healey likely suffered a cardiac medical emergency.
8:36 a.m.New York State Police say an autopsy scheduled for Friday should help to determine what caused the death of a kayaker on the Chenango River.
Several agencies responded to a report of an unconscious kayaker in the water near Depot Street in Chenango Forks just after 6 p.m. Thursday. The man’s body was found shortly after.
Authorities say he was with a group of 20 people when his kayak capsized. His name has not been released.

8:45 P.M. UPDATE: PORT CRANE (WBNG) — A kayaker is dead after capsizing in the Chenango River on Thursday afternoon. 
Several agencies, including the Broome County Office of Emergency Services, Broome County Sheriff’s Office, and New York State Police responded to the a river access in the area of Depot Street just after 6 p.m. on Thursday for a report of an unconscious kayaker in the water, according to Broome County Fire Coordinator Jeff Buckler.
Buckler says a group of 20 recreational kayakers entered the river at Chenango Forks. Two of those kayakers had capsized, one of which being the dead kayaker. The other kayaker was rescued and not injured, Buckler says.
It is not yet known what caused the deceased kayaker’s craft to capsize. An identity has also not yet been released. New York State Police are handling that investigation, Buckler says. The Broome County Coroner was also called to the scene.
Shortly after the first incident, a second water rescue was conducted in the Chenango River in Port Crane, along Interstate 88 in an area of the river known as “the Towpath.”
Buckler says three kayakers capsized their boats, and were rescued by the Broome County Sheriff’s Office and Office of Emergency Services. No injuries were reported. A reason why they capsized is not yet known.
Officials at the scene told 12 News the river levels did not seem dangerous for either incident.
Around 9 p.m. on Thursday, crews used a hovercraft to comb the river for any other people. A hovercraft was needed because the river was so shallow.

New York State Police say they will release more details on Friday. Troopers add a cause of death has not been determined at this time and an identity of the deceased has not been released, pending notification of family.Thanks! Know if this was moving water? 

7:49 P.M. UPDATE:
PORT CRANE (WBNG) — A kayaker at the scene of a water rescue scene tells 12 News that one person is dead following a situation in the Chenango River.
Crews have left the scene off of Interstate 88 in the area of exit 3. There is still a police presence over in Chenango Forks near a river access area near Depot Street.
Our crew on the scene says many people are being interviewed by police.

Authorities have not provided any update. This a developing story, stay with 12 News for updates.

PORT CRANE (WBNG) — Multiple emergency response crews are on the scene of a water rescue in Port Crane Thursday evening. The situation is around I-88 by exit 3.
At this time, authorities could not comment on what the specifics of the situation is. A 12 News crew on the scene says the following agencies have responded to the incident:
  • Greene Fire Department

  • Vestal Emergency Squad

  • Port Crane Fire Department

  • Whitney Point Fire Department

Our crew also says a water rescue and dive team is also on scene.

This is a developing story, stay with 12 News for updates. 

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