Drinking and River Tubing Leads to Death of 22 Year Old Broward County Man in the Santa Fe River

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Florida’s river waterways provide residents and tourists with plentiful opportunities to submerge themselves. River tubing, swimming and other river activities are ways in which North Florida residents can have fun and cool off on a hot summer day. However, these activities have both inherent risks and dangers, including injury or loss of life. In addition, the dangers of river activities are enhanced when alcohol consumption is involved.
Sadly, L. Jahi James, 22-years-old drowned in the Santa Fe River while drinking and tubing with friends, according to officials. The Gilchrest County Sheriff’s Office said that he was pronounced dead shortly after he was pulled from the river’s bottom. James and at least two of his friends had rented tubes from Ginnie Springs Outdoors, which is a privately owned campground, said Investigator Tracy Taylor.
According to his friends, James drank at least one quarter of a bottle of vodka during the tubing expedition, said deputies. Witnesses said that James appeared to be asleep or passed out on his inner tube when his friends began flipping each other off their inner tubes. James’ friends realized he needed help after he did not surface. It took the friends several dives over approximately three to six minutes to find James on the river bottom, said deputies. They pulled him to the surface and began CPR until help arrived. Thereafter he was pronounced dead by Gilchrist County paramedics. The Sheriff’s Office declared James’ death an accidental drowning, but an autopsy has been scheduled to determine the exact cause of his death. For more information on this topic, see Man drowns while drinking and tubing.

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