On May 7th, 2021, at approximately 2:20 pm, State Police responded to the Willsboro Bay state boat launch for an overturned kayak. An investigation at the scene revealed that 28-year-old Patrick S. Wells, and his son, 3-year-old Beckett L. Wells, both of Willsboro, were kayaking in a single-person kayak when, for an unknown reason, they overturned into the cold waters of Lake Champlain.
They were both found in the water unresponsive and transported to the University of Vermont Healthcare Network at the Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital (CVPH) in Plattsburgh. Patrick Wells was pronounced deceased at CVPH. Beckett Wells was transported by Life Flight to the University of Vermont Medical Center (UVM) in Burlington, VT. Beckett was later pronounced deceased on May 8th, 2021 at UVM.
An autopsy was completed on Patrick Wells at CVPH on May 10th, 2021. The cause of death was determined to be fresh water drowning due to hypothermia and cold water exposure. The manner of death has been ruled as accidental for both victims.
State Police were assisted at the scene by the Essex County Sheriff’s Office, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers, and Willsboro/Essex EMS and Fire Department.