The Ohio Department of Natural Resources reported Tuesday afternoon (May 30) that they have recovered the body of a kayaker who went missing in Alum Creek Monday night.
Carey Santiana, the public information officer for ODNR reported Tuesday around 4:30 p.m. that the body of Shawn Leasure, 40, of Marietta, Ohio, was found in the area of Alum Creek Lake south of U.S. 36/S.R. 37, where he had been reported missing a day earlier.
Tracy Whited, the head of media and community relations for the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office, reported Tuesday morning that authorities were called Monday at 5:28 p.m. by a woman who reported that Leasure had gone missing in Alum Creek Lake while they were kayaking together.
The woman told authorities that she was kayaking in the area of south of the U.S. 36/S.R. 37 bridge with Leasure when she toppled in her kayak and fell into the water, Whited said.
The woman reported that Leasure got out of his kayak and helped her. The woman said they were in standing water and she paddled to the shore while Leasure swam back out to get his paddle.
The woman told authorities that when she reached the shore and turned around she could no longer see him.
Whited said the woman did not have her cell phone with her and it took about 10 minutes before she could call 9-1-1.
The woman reported that Leasure could swim, but was not wearing a life jacket.
Whited said the area that he went missing in has a drop from about 6 feet to about 20 feet.
Emergency crews searched the area Monday night until about 9 p.m. when they called off the search for safety, but crews resumed the search at first light Tuesday, Whited said.
ODNR reported that sonar teams and K9 on boats were being used to search the area and said that a dive team was ready to go.
Additionally, the Genoa Township Fire Department reported a boat they were using in the operation capsized after a wave washed over the bow.
Genoa Fire Chief Gary Honeycutt reported that all firefighters were wearing life vests and made it safely to shore. The boat was also retrieved.
“This situation demonstrates why wearing a life vest is so important, even for well-trained swimmers,” Honeycutt said.
Honeycutt said the crews followed all appropriate protocols and yet conditions were such that the vessel capsized.
“Our hearts go out to the family of the [boater],” Honeycutt said. “The Township’s misfortune pales in comparison to the tragic loss of life.”
Editor’s Note: This is an updated version of a story that ran June 1. The body had not been recovered as that edition went to press.