The deaths of a Newburgh man and his daughter are being investigated by Indiana Conservation Officers after an apparent kayaking accident.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Law Enforcement said in a release that Joshua Varner, 33, and his daughter Vivian, 4, both of Newburgh, were kayaking in Blue Grass Pit on Thursday, April 4. According to the release, a family member became concerned when they had not returned when expected and emergency services were called to the scene at 7:15 p.m.

The release states that both Varner and his daughter were found floating in the water around 9:45 p.m. Varner was pronounced dead at the scene, but Vivian was taken to Deaconess Hospital in Evansville where she succumbed to her injuries.

According to the release, a kayak belonging to Varner was found capsized about 500 yards away, but is is unknown what caused the kayak to capsize. The release states that the water temperature was about 55 degrees and about 10-feet deep in the area, but neither Varner or his daughter were wearing life jackets when they were recovered.

Responding agencies included the Warrick County Sheriff's Office, Ohio Valley Search and Rescue, Elberfeld Fire Department, Chandler Fire Department, Booneville Fire Department, Scott Township Fire Department, Warrick County EMA, Warrick County EMS, Warrick County Dispatch, Warrick County Coroner's Office and Indiana Conservation Officers.

Indiana Conservation Officers strongly encourage the use of life jackets while boating or near water. For information on boating safety visit the DNR's website at

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