- Associated Press - Monday, July 20, 2015

UPPER SANDUSKY, Ohio (AP) - Relatives of two brothers who died while kayaking in a northwest Ohio river are pushing for more signs near low-lying dams to warn of potential dangers.

Billy Zornes, 45, and Lewis Zornes, 46, died June 21 after their kayaks overturned in the Sandusky River near Upper Sandusky, roughly halfway between Columbus and Toledo. Investigators say one of the Bucyrus men went over a submerged dam, and the other went back into the water to attempt a rescue.

Arguing the kayakers didn’t have sufficient warning about the dam, their family has started a petition and plans to ask local and state government officials for more warning signs near so-called low-head dams, The (Upper Sandusky) Daily Chief-Union (https://bit.ly/1Dq71Ma ) reported.

Low-head dams are considered dangerous during high water because they create churning water that can be difficult to escape.

Water in the area was high when the brothers’ kayaks overturned last month. A Marion man drowned at the same location in 2013.

“There is no reason we should not have warning signs above and below any low-head dam,” said Lewis Zornes’ stepdaughter, Crestline resident Ashley Alberty.

Lewis Zornes’ wife was kayaking with the brothers when her husband tried to go through the dam and was pulled under by the current, and she said Billy Zornes was pulled in while trying to help, according to police records recently released to the Daily Chief-Union. She tried to use a tree branch to aid them, then called for emergency help.

Initial information indicated Lewis Zornes’ blood alcohol content was logged as being above Ohio’s legal limit for driving, the Daily Chief-Union reported.

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