OPP recover body of missing kayaker

Overturned kayak on the shore of a beach Photo by Tinney/Shutterstock

The OPP found the body of a missing Ramara camper hours after finding their overturned kayak in a Simcoe County lake this past weekend.

On July 2 at 4:30 p.m., the 21-year-old Ramara resident was found dead in an unnamed lake north of Upper Big Chute Road, near Horseshoe and Backskin Lakes. Orillia OPP officer Derek Tilley says the Ramara resident and eight other people were camping at the lake earlier that day. Two campers went boating with the resident, who dropped them off at the campsite around 2:30 a.m. before going back on the water alone in a two-person kayak.

By 3:00 a.m. the campers could no longer find the kayaker, so they called the OPP out of concern.

“It’s a very small body of water, and you can see the whole lake. But somewhere in there the kayak overturned,” Tilley says, adding that OPP found it around 7:30 a.m.

There were no roads or trails leading to the lake—the campers originally portaged their boats into the water, so the OPP needed to clear trees for a helicopter to drop their underwater search team in the lake. They also couldn’t use motorized boats because the lake was a “swampy bog,” says Tilley.

Officers couldn’t find a PFD near the Ramara resident or their overturned kayak. No one else was injured and the cause of death is still unknown.

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