Rescue crews were called to a creek in the area of the Philadelphia Canoe Club in the 4900 block of Ridge Avenue shortly before 2:30 p.m. Saturday.
Friends and colleagues say the victim, an instructor at the canoe club, was practicing a kayaking maneuver called a rollover in the shallow waters of the Schuylkill when something went terribly wrong. The victim's Dale Herrick. She was in her 50s according to police.
"She was practicing on her own," Todd Zielinski of the Philadelphia Canoe Club told Action News. "Seems she had some problems with her equipment and she had an accident and couldn't get out of boat."
Philadelphia Canoe Club members upriver and ashore found her strapped in this green kayak. It was upside down.
The Philadelphia Police Marine Unit arrived and the victim was rushed to Roxborough Memorial Hospital where she was pronounced dead. Medical examiners say they have not ruled out the possibility that a medical condition may have triggered the woman's problems in the water.
Friends say the she's been a member of the club since 1989 and was a very experience kayaker.
Officials with the Philadelphia Canoe Club say this is the first fatal accident in the century-long history of the club.