This was likely a medical condition that turned into a drowning. Its been in the 90s. If you aren’t hydrating and swimming to keep cool you can heat out. Of course it could be something else. Cold water isn’t always the greatest hazard on a hot day.
It is absolutely one of the most beautiful crystal clear rivers in the world and a joy to paddle, except when the state parks opens their tubing concession just after Easter. Then it is a zoo !
We used to do a race there that started at the public beach just where it meets the Withlacoochee river up to the no snorkling zone at the head springs and back. Going up against the current was a bear, but coming back we would fly !
It is an easy river now. OK, “easy” is relative. Last time we were there we shuttled the rest of the club from the KP hole to the ramp downtown. Then launched the canoe club from the KP Hole and paddled down to the boat ramp. After a lunch at the Blue Gator Tiki Bar, the club went home and Qruiser and I paddled up to the truck at KP. It was a nice kayak paddle. The hardest part was convincing our canoe friends we’d not have a problem doing it.
I have seen some C2s and C 1s paddling in that area. They are easy to keep up with……….until they start paddling.
The tubers are…tubers. If they only knew how many gators were near by.