Kyle Hardman Dies Attempting to Rescue Family of Boaters from Mississippi

Jun 13, 2012 at 8:51 am

[UPDATE 11:45 a.m. Wednesday, June 13: The Coast Guard has identified Kyle Hardman, 55, as the barge worker who perished after the rescue attempt. The post has been re-written to reflect that information.]

A bass boat with three adults and two children aboard ran out of gas about 7 p.m. last night on the Mississippi River north of St. Louis, leading to a dramatic rescue attempt by a pair of barge workers. The powerless bass boat was pushed by the current into a barge and started sinking. Two barge workers launched a skiff and attempted to aid the beleaguered family, but the current swamped their craft.

One of the rescuers, 55-year-old Kyle Hardman, was injured when their boat capsized. All family members and both rescuers were wearing personal floatation devices, and fortunately workers on another barge were aware of what was going on and pulled all seven people from the water. They were taken ashore on the Missouri side, south of the city.

Hardman unfortunately died of his injuries earlier this morning. At this point, no reason has been given for why a family with small children would be in a bass boat on the Mississippi River.