Hurricane didn’t cause Vail Realtor Doug Ketchum’s death | VailDaily.com

Hurricane didn’t cause Vail Realtor Doug Ketchum’s death

EAGLE COUNTY — The surfing accident that killed Doug Ketchum was not caused by Hurricane Barbara, his wife said Friday.

Kristi Ketchum said Doug and some of the others in the surf camp were paddling out for another wave or two before lunch.

Doug was the first to paddle out, dropping down into the trough between waves ahead of everyone else. When they saw his board again he wasn't on it, Kristi said.

He was taken to shore by the people who were surfing with him. They tried to revive him, but were unsuccessful, Kristi said.

No one is sure exactly what happened, Kristi said.

Some media reports said Doug was swept up by huge waves and pounded against the shore. People who were with him say that's simply not true, Kristi said.

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"It wasn't hurricane conditions," Kristi said. "He has been surfing since he was 12 years old. He was not one of these people who would go surfing in a hurricane, like you see on television."

Kristi said she's confident Doug wasn't doing anything foolhardy was that he loved surfing and had seven to 10 days left in this trip.

"He wasn't going to ruin his trip by getting hurt with that many days to go," Kristi said.

Doug was a Realtor with Prudential Colorado Properties.

He surfed in Puerto Rico, Hawaii and a half dozen other countries abroad, skied from the summit of 14,000 foot peaks and mountain biked in Mexico and Ecuador.

Doug was participating in a surf camp on Playa Canejo beach near Salina Cruz, Mexico, at the time of his death.

Please contribute a tribute or memory on yourtribute.com. A memorial service is planned for 3 p.m. on Thursday in Vail's Donovan Park Pavillion Vail.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935, and rwyrick@vail daily.com