Kayak instructor dies during lesson

Posted: Friday, November 09, 2001

SITKA (AP) -- A kayak instructor died Thursday at New Thomsen Harbor while teaching a student to perform maneuvers, Sitka police said Friday.

Kenneth Frank Schaeffer, 49, was displaying a rollover maneuver to a student when he apparently struck a submerged rock, police said.

At the time of the accident Thursday, Schaeffer was providing kayaking instruction to Susan Kay Feero.

Schaeffer exited the kayak after it rolled over and told her he thought he would be all right, police said. Schaeffer had a laceration and bruising above his left eye.

Feero grabbed him and began paddling back to shore when the man rolled over in the water and began floating, police said.

Rescuers on shore were unable to revive him. Schaeffer was pronounced dead at Sitka Community Hospital.

Feero was treated at Sitka Community Hospital for possible hypothermia and later released, police said.

An autopsy will be performed on Schaeffer by the state Medical Examiner's Office, police said.

Schaeffer was the owner of owned Baidarka Boats in Sitka.

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