Body of Missing Kayaker Found on James River

Photo from Missouri State Highway Patrol

by: Chris Six, Ozarks First

The Missouri Conservation Department has confirmed Rescue crews found a kayaker who went missing Sunday evening.

Crews with the Highway Patrol and other area water rescue teams started their search again Monday, March 22, around 9 a.m.

Authorities searched a three-mile stretch of the James River from the Delaware Point access to Shelvin Rock access.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol received a call around 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 21, about the missing kayaker.

“Right now they’re currently upstream, closer than where we are now,” said Sgt. Michael McClure, with the Missouri State Highway Patrol. “Closer to the original location. And there are some areas up there because the water’s up. The water has some color to it, it’s not clear, it’s got mud in it from previous rains, that is creating some visibility issues, that we want to spend more time focusing on those areas.”

The incident was reported by two people in a canoe that saw a man fall off his boat and standing in what looked to be chest-deep water.

“For those that want to get out on the water, whether you’re paddling or on a boat out here, make sure you got your life jacket on, not just with you, but have it on,” said McClure.

Jennifer Burton was worried about the kayaker and shared some of their experiences at James River.

“We’ve experienced high water before, and we definitely, it took us an hour and a half from this point to Hooten Town, which usually takes what, four, four to six hours,” said Burton. “It took us an hour and a half.”

After the body was found, family was notified on-scene. Highway Patrol said the name of the individual won’t be released until extended family learns about the tragedy first.

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