Kayaker drowns off Somers

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POLICE divers recovered the body of a Hastings man who drowned off Somers, Sunday 14 April.

The man, 38, and a friend were kayaking when he fell out and disappeared about 11am. His mate, who by this time had paddled to shore, borrowed a phone from a passer-by and called 000 for help.

Volunteer Marine Rescue and Coast Guard Western Port based at Hastings were on the scene within 12 minutes and, with the Police Air Wing high above, began a four hour search.

The VMR crew found the kayak nose up but sunk in four metres of water about 150 metres from shore. The Air Wing spotted his paddle and the Water Police found his body nearby.

VMR president Neil Cooper said conditions were fine and seas calm. It is unclear how the man fell out and sank. He was not wearing a life jacket. The kayak was anchored and the man may have become entangled in the rope.

A Coast Guard Western Port Facebook post on Sunday said: “Our thoughts go out to the family of the man. We do everything we can to ensure people make it home safely – these outcomes absolutely break our hearts.”  

The Water Police took the man’s body back to Stony Point and will prepare a report for the coroner.

First published in the Western Port News – 16 April 2019

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