by Darren Doyle, Edmonson Voice
Emergency personnel were called out to the Moutardier area of Nolin Lake Sunday evening around 5pm to what preliminary reports show to be a drowning accident. According to reports, Robert O'Brien, 33, of Charlotte, North Carolina was kayaking somewhere near the marina. Witnesses said that the wake from a large passing pontoon boat caused O'Brien's kayak to capsize, keeping the man underwater for several minutes.
Witnesses also said another pontoon boat nearby stopped and tried to offer help as the kayak floated away and the man was left floating unresponsive, face-first in the water. The un-named boaters said they removed the man from the water and immediately called 911.
O'Brien was pronounced dead at the scene by Edmonson County Coroner Michael Alexander. "No one knows about the passing pontoon boat, whether they even saw him or not," said Coroner Alexander. "There are so many things we don't know for sure."
It was reported that the man's parents own a vacation home on the lake and he was out for an afternoon in the water. "It appears that the man drowned while upside down in the kayak, but we can't confirm that until we get the autopsy results," Alexander said. The autopsy is being performed in Louisville.
"Mr. O'Brien appeared to be doing everything correctly," he added. "He was wearing a life jacket and everything seemed to be in place, it's just a terrible tragedy."