HUNTINGTON COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) – The Huntington County Coroner’s Office has released the cause of death of a man who died after launching his boat at the Salamonie Reservoir on Sunday
Witnesses reported that early Sunday afternoon, 69-year-old Robert S. Smith launched his boat when it began to take on water. Boaters in the area started helping Smith and provided a life flotation device to him. He grabbed onto the device and exited the boat.
The coroner’s office says that as Smith was being pulled to the rescuers’ boat, he went underwater, surfaced, and struggled. When he was pulled up onto the boat, he was unconscious and not breathing. He was given CPR and first responders arrived shortly after.
Smith was then provided care by the Parkview Huntington Hospital EMS. He was later pronounced dead.
Following an autopsy, the coroner’s office ruled that Smith drowned due to a “medical condition that was induced by the event.” The death has been ruled an accident.
The Huntington County Coroner’s Office and the Indiana Department of Natural Resource Law Enforcement Division are still investigating.