Father and 3-year-old son drown after kayak flips on Lake Champlain

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(Credit: PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP via Getty Images)

WILLSBORO, N.Y. (WWTI) — An incident over the weekend took the lives of a father and his three-year-old son on Lake Champlain.

New York State Police have confirmed that on May 7, troopers responded to the Willsboro Bay state boat launch for an overturned kayak. An investigation then determined that a single-person kayak occupied by Patrick S. Wells, 28, and Beckett L. Wells, 3, both of Willsboro, were kayaking on Lake Champlain when their kayak overturned.

Both were found in the water unresponsive and transported to the University of Vermont Healthcare Network at the Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital in Plattsburgh.

Beckett Wells was transported by Life Flight to the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington, Vermont. He was later pronounced deceased on May 8, 2021 at UVM.

Police reported that Patrick Wells was pronounced deceased at Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital. Authorities confirmed that the cause of death was determined to be fresh water drowning due to hypothermia and cold water exposure. An autopsy was completed on May 10, 2021.

The manner of death been ruled by police as accidental for both victims.

New York State Police were assisted on the scene by the Essex County Sheriff’s Office, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers and Willsboro Essex EMS and Fire Division.

This incident remains under investigation.

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