The woman who drowned Monday in the James River in Amherst County fell out of a tube, according to the sheriff’s office.
The Amherst County Sheriff’s Office says Hope Stoeckel, 69, of Georgetown, Delaware, died after falling from the tube around 1 p.m. Monday near Percival’s Island. She was on a commercial trip with the James River Float Company.
According to the Amherst County Sheriff’s Office, when Stoeckel slipped out of the tube she was unable to get back inside of it.
A staff member from James River Float Company initiated CPR after the group made its way to the east end of Percival’s Island. Medical crews from the Lynchburg Fire Department, Monelison Rescue Squad, and Amherst County Public Safety were unable to revive Stoeckel.
Her body has been taken to the medical examiner’s office in Roanoke for an autopsy.
In a statement released Monday afternoon, the James River Float Company said it is still trying to figure out what exactly happened before the drowning.
Here is the full statement from the James River Float Company:
“James River Float Company is deeply saddened by the turn of events today on the James River. James River Float Company is not certain of the exact chain of events that led up to the fatality. We are gathering information as quickly as possible. It is known that all members of the group were wearing personal floatation devices and a guide with the James River Float Company performed CPR until Fire and Rescue Crews got there to continue CPR. At this point it would be inappropriate to speculate to the cause of death. We at James River Float Company are deeply devastated and our hearts and prayers go out to the family.”