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Pewee Valley man dies trying to rescue girlfriend in Ohio River

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By Amanda Manning

  A Pewee Valley man is dead after trying to save his girlfriend whose kayak flipped in the Ohio River last night. 

Indiana Conservation Officers said they responded to a 911 call that a kayaker had capsized near the George Rogers Clark boat ramp in Clarksville.  

According to their preliminary investigation, Travis Hughes, 28, was kayaking with his girlfriend, Jamie Dunaway, 31, and his brother Mitchell Hughes, 30, shortly after 9 p.m. All three kayakers are from Pewee Valley.

Indiana investigators believe Dunaway’s kayak capsized after she encountered a wave, and when Travis Hughes tried to rescue her, his kayak capsized. 

Dunaway was able to swim to an island nearby where she was rescued by a Clarksville Fire Department boat. 

Travis Hughes’ body was recovered at approximately 11 p.m. near the dam across from the boat ramp, according to a press release. 

Mitchell Hughes remained in his kayak and searched the area until rescue crews arrived.

The Clarksville Fire Department, Clarksville Police Department, Clark County Sheriff's Department, Yellow EMS, Louisville Fire Department, Louisville Metro Police Department and the Clark County Coroner's Office also responded to the scene. 

The Clark County Coroner’s office will rule on the cause of death. Toxicology results are pending, according to officials.

Conservation officers say no life jackets were worn by any of the kayakers. 

“Conservation Officers strongly encourage boaters to always wear life jackets when onboard a watercraft, regardless of the size of the waterway,” officials urged the public. 

The boating incident remains under investigation.