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Preliminary Loss Reports (PLRs)

About Preliminary Loss Reports (PLRs)

Preliminary Loss Reports provide leaders with awareness of Army loss and highlight potential trends that affect combat readiness. Within 72 hours of a loss, PLRs provide a synopsis of the incident: unit, date of loss, description of the activity at the time of the death. PLRs do not identify root causes of an accident, as the investigation is ongoing. Further details will be available later on RMIS (account required).

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PLR 22-019 - Off-Duty Sports, Recreation, and Physical Training Mishap Claims One Soldier's Life

Posting Date:   /   Categories: Preliminary Loss Reports, Sports & Recreation
A Sergeant assigned to Fort Campbell, Kentucky, died in an off-duty sports, recreation and physical training mishap 16 January 2022 in Lake Desoto, Hot Springs, Arkansas, at 1914 local. The Soldier and his fiancée fell into the river when their kayak capsized. A nearby boater heard screams for help and immediately responded. The boater rescued the fiancée but was unable to locate the Soldier. First responders from the Department of Natural Resources initiated search-and-rescue efforts with negative results. Those efforts transitioned to search and recovery due to the length of time the Soldier had been missing. His body was recovered two days later.

Since FY17, the Army has lost an average of 12 Soldiers a year to off-duty sports, recreation and physical training mishaps. This tragedy was the first fatal off-duty sports, recreation and physical training mishap of FY22.

Safety Tips:

• WEAR YOUR PERSONAL FLOTATION DEVICE. Coast Guard regulations require that all kayaks have a lifejacket on board. Wearing your lifejacket will help keep your head above water and add insulation to your body, keeping you warmer in cold water. There are great PFDs designed specifically for paddlers. Buy one that fits well, and always wear it while you paddle.
• Be aware of weather conditions and water temperature. Prepare for changes in weather and the possibility of capsizing. If paddling in cold water, a wet suit or dry suit can keep you warm and comfortable. In warm weather, a long sleeve shirt can provide sun protection.
• Beware of off-shore winds that make it difficult to return to shore.
• Always follow the boating rules of the area you're kayaking.
• Never mix alcohol or drugs (prescription or non-prescription) with kayaking.
• Never exceed the weight capacity of your kayak and always check your equipment for wear and tear before you paddle.
• Seek qualified instruction to learn proper paddling techniques, water safety and basic first aid.
• Brush up on self-rescue first in calm, warm, shallow water, and again in more extreme conditions.
• Tell someone your paddle plan, which includes where you are going, what you will be doing, how long you expect to be gone and how many people are in your party. Then stick to your plan.
• Paddling in the surf zone or in rivers can be dangerous. Always wear a helmet.
• Stay hydrated. Always bring plenty of water and food.
• When paddling in a new area, check with the locals regarding currents, shoreline conditions and weather patterns. Plan an "escape" route — an alternative place to get off the water should environmental conditions dictate it.

For more info, visit https://www.oceankayak.com/blog/article/basic-safety-tips-kayaking.

 

PLR 21-091 - Off-Duty Sports, Recreation and Physical Training Mishap Claims One Soldier's Life

Posting Date:   /   Categories: Preliminary Loss Reports, Sports & Recreation
A Sergeant First Class assigned to Fairbanks, Alaska, died in a sports, recreation and physical training mishap 12 August 2021 in the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve at 1200 local. This mishap was unobserved and the information is based on details received. The Soldier had been missing since 12 August, but was not scheduled to return until 20 August. His last known inReach message indicated he was crossing Jacksina Creek to access a hunting area. On 16 August, National Park Service (NPS) rangers were notified by the mishap Soldier’s point of contact that he had stopped checking in as pre-arranged. On 17 August, the NPS deployed search teams, and Alaska Wildlife Troopers initiated scans of the area. Helicopters, fixed-wing aircraft and ground teams searched the area. On 21 August at 1430 the Soldier was found dead alongside Jacksina Creek. Based on evidence found by searchers, it appears that the Soldier attempted to cross Jacksina Creek and was swept away by the current. His body was recovered and transported to the state medical examiner's office.

Since FY16, the Army has lost an average of 12 Soldiers a year to off-duty sports, recreation and physical training mishaps. This tragedy was the eighth fatal off-duty sports, recreation and physical training mishap of FY21.

 

 

PLR 21-083 - Off-Duty Sports, Recreation, and Physical Training Mishap Claims One Soldier's Life

Posting Date:   /   Categories: Preliminary Loss Reports, Sports & Recreation
A Sergeant assigned to Fort Benning, Georgia, died in a sports, recreation and physical training mishap in Lacey, Washington, 12 July 2021 at 1500 local. The Soldier was kayaking alone on Hicks Lake when the kayak overturned. An unknown person reported the Soldier’s overturned kayak to the Lacey Police Department (LPD). The LPD searched the shoreline, reviewed surveillance video and conducted a shallow-water dive, but were unsuccessful in locating the Soldier. His body was found the following day by the LPD during a deep-water search operation. Specific circumstances of the mishap, including alcohol/drugs as contributing factors and/or if other Soldiers were present, are unknown.

Since FY16, the Army has lost an average of 12 Soldiers a year to off-duty sports, recreation and physical training mishaps. This tragedy was the seventh fatal off-duty sports, recreation and physical training mishap of FY21.


Water Safety Tips:

Wear a kayaking-specific life jacket at all times – No excuses! Regardless of your swimming abilities or kayaking skill level, wearing a well-fitting, properly maintained and suitable buoyancy aid could save your life.

Never drink alcohol and paddle - Alcohol is a depressant; it slows your response times, impairs decision-making and negatively affects coordination.

Always wear appropriate clothing for the conditions (and your needs) - When deciding what to wear for a kayaking trip, you must take into account the time of year, water temperature and weather conditions. Clothing should be able to provide protection from the sun, wind and other elements.

Don’t go solo - A buddy rescue is faster than a self-rescue, and there’s no such thing as a self-tow if you’re hurt

Always tell someone where you are going and when you will be back - They can notify the Coast Guard or other rescue organization if you fail to check in according to the plan.

Learn basic kayaking safety skills - A class will teach the basics such as how to brace in rough water; what equipment is needed for river versus lake kayaking or ocean paddling; essential paddle techniques; and the fundamentals of how to roll a kayak.

 

 

PLR 21-079 - Off-Duty Sports, Recreation and Physical Training Mishap Claims One Soldier's Life

Posting Date:   /   Categories: Preliminary Loss Reports, Sports & Recreation
A First Lieutenant assigned to Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM), Washington, died in a sports, recreation and physical training mishap 21 July 2021 at 1353 local. After the Soldier failed to report for duty on 19 July, his unit tried numerous times to contact him by phone, but were unsuccessful. He mentioned to several individuals the day before that he planned to go running. His supervisor and commander notified the JBLM military police, Criminal Investigation Command (CID) and director of emergency services that he was absent, and the unit began searching for him. The Soldier’s house was checked, as well as local running routes he frequented in the JBLM and Tacoma areas. CID was able to obtain the last ping from the Soldier’s cellphone. On 20 July, several groups from the unit found his vehicle at a trailhead on the north side of Mount St. Helens, and immediately called 911. The following day, hikers in the Mount Whittier area located his body. It is suspected that the Soldier fell approximately 250 feet. His body was transported to the local county coroner’s office for examination.

Since FY16, the Army has lost an average of 12 Soldiers a year to off-duty sports, recreation and physical training mishaps. This tragedy was the sixth fatal off-duty sports, recreation and physical training mishap of FY21.

 

 

PLR 21-075 - Off-Duty Sports, Recreation and Physical Training Mishap Claims One Soldier's Life

Posting Date:   /   Categories: Preliminary Loss Reports, Sports & Recreation

A Private First Class assigned to Fort Hood, Texas, died in a sports, recreation and physical training mishap 10 July 2021 at 1720 local. The Soldier was at a lake with a group of people, when he began swimming approximately 100-150 meters from shore to retrieve a floatation toy. He was seen flailing his arms before he submerged beneath the surface. Another Soldier dove in to save him but was unable to locate the body. The water in that area contained a large amount of aquatic hydrilla grass, which significantly decreased visibility and formed a swimming hazard. Emergency service personnel were dispatched to the scene at 1730 and began a thorough search, using boats, sonar and divers. The search was halted at 2130 hours due to darkness and complications from the dense vegetation. The search resumed the following morning at 0800. The Soldier’s body was not located until 12 July at 1120. Initial reports indicate the Soldier was not under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance at the time of the drowning.

Since FY16, the Army has lost an average of 12 Soldiers a year to off-duty sports, recreation and physical training mishaps. This tragedy was the fifth fatal off-duty sports, recreation and physical training mishap of FY21.



Before entering or being around the water, keep these things in mind because they could save your life or the life of someone you care about.

Expect the unexpected – Accidents can happen within seconds, so always be prepared for the unexpected. If you jump into water that is colder than 70 degrees, you can inhale water from involuntary gasping, hyperventilation, panic and sometimes vertigo that can cause you to drown.

Know your swimming abilities – Be aware that swimming in natural waters such as a lake, river or pond is different from swimming in a pool, and your swimming ability decreases with age. It is never too late to take swimming lessons and learn to swim well. Several people every year drown while swimming to retrieve boats and toys. Let those go because they are not worth losing your life over.

Choose swimming areas carefully – Murky lake and river water can hide sharp or slippery rocks, uneven or unstable logs, and “strainers” or underwater branches and root systems that can easily catch your feet. These are constantly changing in unpredictable ways.

Alcohol and water are a deadly combination – Alcohol induces an inner ear condition (caloric labyrinthitis) that can cause you to become disoriented when underwater and not realize which way is up. If you jump or fall in the water, you can become disoriented and swim down instead of up to safety, causing you to drown. This can more likely happen if you have been consuming alcohol.

 

 

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