Taiwanese kayaker killed, another injured, in Channel Islands accident

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Posted by on June 01, 2005 at 09:08:17:

LOS ANGELES - A Taiwanese woman died from injuries sustained in a kayaking accident off Santa Cruz Island and another was briefly hospitalized, an official said.

The incident began Sunday afternoon when four of seven Taiwanese nationals camping on the island off Santa Barbara decided to rent kayaks, Yvonne Menard, spokeswoman for the Channel Islands National Park, said Tuesday.

The two sit-upon kayaks were quickly overwhelmed by high winds and rough seas.

The first craft, which contained a man and a woman, capsized, then righted itself and drifted out to sea where the pair was rescued by a passing boater.

The second kayak, which contained the victim and her female friend, also capsized but did not right itself. The victim, a 26-year-old woman, was swept ashore and dashed against the rocks before being washed back to her friend, who was about 20 yards offshore, Menard said.

The woman's companion held her friend's head above water for nearly two hours in 58-degree water before being rescued by National Park Service personnel and civilian boaters.

The victim, who had hypothermia and head trauma, was airlifted to St. John's Hospital, where she later died. The other woman was taken by helicopter to Ventura County Medical Center, where she was treated and released for hypothermia, Menard said.

The identity and hometown of the deceased was withheld Wednesday pending notification of her family.

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