The first was in San Diego:
The La Jolla Patch reports in Man Dies While Paddleboarding Near Harbor Island: The 23-year-old was visiting San Diego with an intern group from Massachusetts, according to the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office. The man died on July 25. The coroner’s report cites drowning as the cause of death. There is no word yet on whether he was wearing a leash or PFD. “Ramone Beharrie was paddleboarding with a group of co-workers at about 5 p.m. Monday near Harbor Island when he fell off his paddleboard, went underwater and did not resurface, according to a report from the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office.” Read more
The second in Polson, Montana:
The Missoulan reports in their article, Authorities identify man who died after falling off paddleboard in Flathead. “The body of Ty Kanara, 51, has been taken to the Montana State Crime Lab in Missoula for an autopsy to determine whether he drowned or died from some other cause, Lake County Sheriff Don Bell said Thursday.” Read more
What stands out in both of these tragedies is that both paddlers fell off their paddleboards and didn’t come up. There is no mention of struggle, just that both disappeared into the water. Both had people close by. Neither were wearing life vests. Neither seem to have been wearing leashes. The San Diego accident was attributed to drowning with no other contributing factors, but there are still details that haven’t been made public.
Safety Discussion in Salt Lake City
I’m looking forward to meeting with the SUPIA at the Outdoor Retailers Expo next week to discuss safety initiatives. If there’s one thing everyone can agree on, it’s that we don’t want anyone to die while paddling. The question is the best way to get there considering the various settings, participants, and situations.