1 Dead, 1 Rescued in Shenandoah River Near Harpers Ferry

A family was kayaking and tubing near Bull Falls rapids, a fire chief said

A woman drowned and a 13-year-old girl was rescued after kayaks and tubes a family was using in the Shenandoah River capsized Monday, an emergency official said. 

Katrina Anne Meeks, 40, of Purcellville, Virginia, died after a rope connected to the tube she was using got caught on something and she went underwater, the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office said.

Meeks and five family members were using kayaks and inner tubes they had tied together when the accident occurred near Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, close to the Maryland border, according to Bakerton Fire Department Chief Josh Smith.

None of the family members were wearing life jackets, officials said.

A 13-year-old girl who was stranded on a rock surrounded by rapids was rescued by helicopter from the scene near Bull Falls rapids, Smith said. The other family members were also rescued from the scene, checked out at a hospital and released, he said.

The sheriff's office is investigating the incident and took as evidence the tube Meeks was using.

Sheriff Pete Dougherty warned residents of the dangers the river can pose.

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"Be careful when you go out," he said. "The water is a great place, water resources are wonderful places to be, but make sure you take some safety precautions when you go out."

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