Doug and Kris Tompkins
According to reports, the 72-year-old was paddling through high winds on General Carrera Lake in Coyhaique, in the Aysen region, of Chile with a group of kayakers, including Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard, when six of them capsized. He was airlifted to a nearby hospital and treated for hypothermia, but died sometime today.
High winds on the lake caused waves as high as nine feet, according to El Nuevo Herald.
Three of the kayakers who ended up in the water were able to swim to an island in the lake; the others were rescued by Navy personnel. Two of the kayakers were taken to the Coyhaique hospital with Tompkins and are reported have no injuries; three other kayakers were hospitalized elsewhere and are in stable condition. Tompkins spent a “considerable amount of time” in waters under 40 °F, according to La Tercera.
Tompkins founded the North Face in 1968. Since leaving the business world in 1989, Tompkins dedicated himself to environmental activism and land conservation. Along with his wife, Kristine McDivitt-Tompkins, former CEO of Patagonia, they have been working to create 12 national parks in Patagonia region of South America from land they have purchased.
Our deepest condolences to Doug’s family and friends.