Shenandoah River mishap leaves 1 dead; 1 rescued by copter

AP News
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Posted: Jun 07, 2016 6:14 PM

HARPERS FERRY, W.Va. (AP) — A woman drowned and a 13-year-old girl was rescued by helicopter after they capsized close to rapids in the Shenandoah River near the West Virginia-Maryland border, authorities said Tuesday.

The two had been kayaking and tubing near Harpers Ferry, West Virginia on Monday, said Bakerton Fire Department Chief Josh Smith. He said they capsized near the Bull Falls rapids. Four other family members who were with them were rescued, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office said in a news release.

The body of Katrina Anne Meeks, 40, of Purcellville, Virginia, was discovered about 9 p.m. Monday, the news release said.

Meeks went underwater when the tube she was floating in got caught on something, the sheriff's office said. She didn't come back up and police believe she drowned. Her brother, one of the family members on the trip, called authorities to tell them Meeks had drowned and that her body was floating down the river.

The tube and other belongings were taken into evidence.

The Maryland State Police sent out a helicopter at 7:15 p.m. Monday to rescue the teenage girl, who was stranded on a rock surrounded by rapids, state police said in a news release. Because her location was impossible to reach by boat, rescuers had to lower a basket with an officer to retrieve her, the release said.

Emergency management officials from Bakerton, and from Washington and Frederick counties in Maryland were out on the river until about 11 p.m., Smith said.