Lakeland man dies in kayak accident in western North Carolina

Posted at 12:10 PM, May 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-16 12:10:01-04

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A Florida man has died in a kayak accident on a river in western North Carolina.

Buncombe County sheriff’s deputies pulled the body of a pinned kayaker from the park outside Asheville on Tuesday. The victim has been identified as 56-year-old Delmer Melvin Garratt, of Lakeland, Florida.

Someone noticed an overturned kayak in the water late Tuesday morning.

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Members of a swift water rescue team were able to get to the kayak and remove the body about 90 minutes later.

Sheriff spokeswoman Natalie Bailey said deputies will continue to investigate the death, but it appears to have been an accident.

Four people have died in paddling accidents in western North Carolina so far this year. These are the first paddling deaths since 2014.