Subscribe Now

travelers today

Home » News

Cruise Passenger Dies In Alaska Kayaking Accident

Travelers Today       By    Katie McFadden

Updated: Jul 17, 2012 04:15 PM EDT

Text Size: A A A

Kayak
Daniel Alvarez (not pictured) went on a 4,000 mile kayak journey across the U.S.(Photo : Wikimedia)

A cruise ship passenger died while on a kayaking excursion in Alaska this past weekend.

Michael Ray Fullerton, 62, a passenger on Royal Caribbean's Rhapsody of the Seas was on a kayaking adventure on Mendenhall Lake  with three of his family members when his kayak overturned on Sunday. The family had rented the kayaks to use on the lake near Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau.

A family member said that Fullerton got tired during the excursion and couldn't paddle anymore, so the group tied the kayaks together. Fullerton's kayak somehow overturned, throwing him into the he cold water lake, which sees average temperature of average 37 degrees Fahrenheit year-round, according to Cruise Critic.

Share This Story

The family got the attention of a canoeist who helped bring them all back to the beach. Officials were told that Fullerton was in the water for close to 30 minutes. He had already stopped breathing when he was brought to the shore. A fireman from Juneau's Capital City Fire and Rescue tried to resuscitate Fullerton through CPR, but he was pronounced dead upon his arrival at Bartlett Regional Hospital

"The other remaining people were treated for mild hypothermia, transported to the hospital and just kind of everybody met up at the hospital where the family was treated and released," fire chief Rich Etheridge told radio station KTOO News.

The family has rented tandem kayaks and gear from Alaska Boat and Kayak in Auke Bay, according to KTOO News. Own Sean Janes said that the group did not have a guide but they were all given a safety lesson before taking the kayaks to the lake.

"They get questioned about how much paddle experience they've had, and then they get a thorough safety briefing that talks about self-rescue, using the bilge pump, paddle float, wearing the PFD and spray skirt, and how to work together and paddle as a group," he said.

The group was given specific instructions on how to paddle around the glacier filled lake. Janes explained how to stay at least 200 yards away from glaciers and icebergs. He also showed them a map of icebergs and hazards along the lake.

Janes explained that tandem kayaks are usually stable and aren't easy to tip over. There is no word on how Fullerton's kayak overturned.

Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center director Ron Marvin explained to JuneauEmpire.com that safety is very important when it comes to kayaking in Mendenhall Lake.

"When I think about people kayaking on the lake I think it is a wonderful activity to do, but you really should be familiar with using a kayak," Marvin said. "Because if you turn over in this cold water your ability to swim to shore or be rescued is very limited. I always tell people to be familiar with how to rescue yourself in a kayak and make sure everybody is somewhat skilled in kayaking before you go out here, because of the cold water."

The Forest Service is leading the investigation of the incident. 

 

 

© 2014 Traverlers Today, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
Featured Video : Travel Expert Stefanie Michaels aka 'Adventure Girl' Reveals Her Favorite Fourth of July Destinations
Join Our Conversation

ADVERTISEMENT

Travel Tips

20th Anniversary Of First Online Sale

Travel Credit Card: What Are The Best Travel Credit Cards Of 2014 And What To Look For In A Travel Credit Card?

Hopping on a plane and booking a hotel for the next travel would be entirely hassle free with the help of a travel credit card. Yet, where does one start and what should one look for in a travel credit card? Also, what are the best travel credit cards of 2014?

Subscribe to our newsletter

Receive the latest travel news, reviews, and more..

Want more Travel?

Most Popular

NOAA Photo Library

Japanese Whaling Research Program: Australia Considering Next Move To Halt Japan's Antarctic

A Japanese whaling research program is currently in the works; however, Australia and other countries are planning to hamper the study that is to be carried out by the powerful Asian country with a long history of killing whales for commercial purposes, The Sydney Morning Herald has learned.

India Space Probe Lanched

India Mars Probe: India First Asian Nation To Launch Mars Obiter; MOM Only Costs $74M Compared To NASA’s $671M?

India Mars probe has entered the orbit of the Red Planet on Wednesday, as reported by the Indian Space Research Organization or ISRO. It was a shoestring-budget Mars Orbiter Mission or MOM spacecraft that was unmanned.

JetBlue cabin

Jetblue Emergency Landing: Jackson Rathbone Tweets Engine Explodes, Smoke Fills Cabin, Emergency Landing Leaves 4 Injured

Jetblue emergency landing at Long Beach Airport occurred on Thursday morning as a JetBlue flight bound for Austin, Texas departed from Long Beach but was forced to turn back shortly. According to officials, the pilot of the diverted plane announced the Jetblue emergency landing at Long Beach Airport due to an emergency with one of the plane’s engines.

Paris Catacombs

Buried In Love: 1500-Year Old Skeletons Holding Hands Italy, 700-Year Old Skeleton Couple Found In England, Skeleton Couple Found In Romania

Archaeologists today have not only discovered the secrets of Stonehenge but some have excavated a number of peculiar graves. Early this year, a 700-year old skeleton couple was found buried in England. The skeletons appeared to have been holding hands. This is the same as the 1500-year old skeletons holding hands Italy and the skeletons holding hands in Romania.

Five Guys

National Cheeseburger Day Sonic Noncompliant But Many Others Offer Free, Discounted Burgers

It's National Cheeseburger Day and Sonic is non-compliant to this wonderful celebration that honors the creation of the amazing bundle of flavors and joy. Nevertheless, there is no time to spare in sulking over Sonic's decision as other establishments have already confirmed that they are giving away free burgers and some even give big discounts for their flavorful and cheesy cheeseburgers.

Blood Alley

Blood Alley Vancouver: Reportedly One Of The Most Haunted Spot in Vancouver

Halloween is fast approaching and what better way to celebrate it that hit up a famous haunted spot. Reportedly, there is one in Vancouver that is worth taking a look at. The name of the place alone is sure to give anyone the spooks. Here’s all there is to know about Blood Alley Vancouver.

Arbeit Macht Frei

Oskar Groning, 93-Year-Old Auschwitz Guard Faces Trial For 300,000 Counts Of Accessory To Murder?

Oskar Groning was once referred to as the “accountant of Auschwitz.” He is also one of the few former Nazi guards assigned at the death camps to speak out against those who denied about the occurrence of the Holocaust.

Find Us on Facebook

travelers today

© Copyright 2014 Travelers Today All Rights Reserved.

Subscribe to our newsletter
Real Time Analytics