A woman died after she slipped and fell over a cliff Saturday at Raven Run Nature Sanctuary, and then the boat carrying her body capsized.
The Fayette County Coroner’s Office identified the woman as Mary Katharine Stewart, 22, of Kenton County.
Six firefighters who were aboard the boat were wearing life preservers and swam to safety, according to a news release from city spokeswoman Susan Straub. A fire department dive team then searched for the body, which was pulled from the river about 5:30 p.m. and turned over to the coroner’s office.
Fire Department Battalion Chief Joe Best said the woman fell around noon, and the rescue operation continued for an hour until the woman’s death was apparent. Twenty-seven firefighters rappelled and used boats to reach the woman.
A medical helicopter and police were summoned to Raven Run, a city-owned 734-acre nature sanctuary off Jacks Creek Pike in east Lexington.
“She never showed any signs of life while we were on the scene,” Best said.
After firefighters retrieved the body, they were attempting to move it using a boat, but the boat began taking on water and capsized at about 3 p.m., Best said. He said an investigation will be conducted to determine why the boat capsized.
He said crews from Madison County were called in to help with that rescue and recovery effort.
The coroner’s office issued a news release saying Stewart died of blunt force injuries as a result of an accident. An autopsy was scheduled for Sunday at the state medical examiner’s office in Frankfort.
The city said Raven Run is closed until further notice.
There has been at least one other death at Raven Run: in 1995, when a man slipped and fell from an overlook, according to Herald-Leader archives.