Crews in Grand Haven recover body of missing kayaker

Crews searching for a person who went missing on Lake Michigan on July 9, 2016.

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) — Grand Haven Public Safety officers say they have recovered the body of a kayaker who went missing Saturday evening.

Officers say the body of 23-year-old Sheldon Benson of Coopersville was recovered at 1 a.m. Sunday by the Ottawa County North Dive Team. Crews used sonar to locate the body. Authorities say the Coast Guard aided in the recovery efforts.

The Grand Haven Department of Public Safety said they responded around 7:00 p.m. after witnesses reported seeing two people hanging from a capsized boat. One of the victims, a 21-year-old man from Jackson, was able to swim to shore.

Officers swam to the area witnesses reported, but were unable to find Benson from Coopersville. Authorities believe, based on statements from witnesses, that the pair were around 200-300 yards away from shore.

Crews continued to search for the second victim, with the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol Division, as well as the Coast Guard, aiding in the search. A Coast Guard helicopter was brought out as well.

Crews were responding to the area near the Bil-Mar restaurant on South Harbor Drive to search.

Authorities believe the two men were kayaking, when one of them capsized. The second kayaker tried to assist the first, and capsized as well.

A staff member at Bil-Mar said that a kayak capsized with two people on board. One man was brought to shore but another remained missing as of 7:45 p.m.

The man who was rescued was taken to the hospital and is expected to survive.

Waves were reported at 3 to 5 feet and there were red flags for swimmers and a small craft advisory Saturday.


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