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UPDATE: Investigators ID Apparent Drowning Victim - abc27 WHTM

UPDATE: Investigators ID Apparent Drowning Victim

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UPDATE: 4:25 p.m.

Amherst County, VA - A tuber is dead from an apparent drowning, after she was pulled from the James River early Monday afternoon.

Dispatchers say emergency crews were called to the area of Mike's Landing, near Percival's Island around 1:45 p.m.

The Amherst County Sheriff's office has just identified the woman as Hope Stoeckel, 69, of Delaware. They say she was tubing on the James River with her husband and grandchildren Monday afternoon.

Investigators say when she went underwater and did not resurface, a guide with the James River Float Company pulled her from the water and started CPR.  Fire and Rescue Crews arrived and continued CPR, but eventually pronounced her dead on the scene.

The James River Float company says this is the first ever drowning since they've been in operation.

The James River Float Company also says they checked the water levels as a safety precaution before heading out on the James Monday, and the water levels were back to normal readings and weren't elevated.

Several agencies responded including the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, Lynchburg Fire and Rescue, the Amherst County Sheriff's Office and the Amherst County Public Safety Department.

The woman's body has been sent to the medical examiner's office in Roanoke to see if a medical condition may have played a role in her death.

Investigators are not saying whether the water conditions could have also been a factor.  

ABC 13 interviewed the owner of the James River Float Company just last Saturday about the swift water conditions, forcing them to cancel some trips.  During that interview, the owner said they'd never had a tuber drown, possibly making this one the first.

We're expecting a news release from the James River Float Company shortly.

Stay with ABC 13 News for the latest on this story.

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UPDATE: 3:05 p.m.

Amherst Co., VA - Despite the life-saving efforts from Amherst County and Lynchburg rescue crews, a woman pulled from the James River never responded to CPR and was pronounced dead along the riverbank in Amherst Co.

Officials say a call came into Amherst Co. dispatch at 1:45 p.m. about an unresponsive woman in the James River.

The identity of the woman has not been released at this time.

ABC 13 News has a crew working this story and will bring you updates as they become available online and on the air.

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