Body of missing kayaker found in Rogue River

Posted at 4:10 PM, Feb 08, 2015
and last updated 2015-02-09 06:06:12-05

ROCKFORD, Mich. — The body of a 65-year-old man who died during a kayaking excursion has been found in the Rogue River.

Police initially responded to reports of a possible boating accident in the area of Rio Rogue Lane NE and Roguewood DR NE.  When they arrived, they determined that two men had been kayaking on the river and had encountered a “large body of ice.”

Thomas Shepard, 65, of Grand Rapids, was pulled under the ice shelf by the river’s strong current.

The victim’s friend, Daniel Silverthorne, 50, attempted to help his friend but was unable to do so.

Neither was wearing a personal flotation device.

Silverthorne spoke with FOX 17 regarding the incident, noting that the two men were very cautious in preparations for their endeavor and had taken all the precautions they felt necessary.

The Kent County Sheriff’s Department dive team, the Plainfield and Cannon Township fire departments, and Aero Med all helped search for the missing man Saturday. The initial search was called off Saturday evening after conditions became unsafe for responders.

A second search early Sunday discovered Shepard’s body a short distance from where he was last seen.

No foul play is suspected.