2 missing kayakers make it back alive, 1 found dead

(Photo: Alecia Kaus)

SOMERSET, N.Y. (WIVB) — Three missing kayakers from Pennsylvania were located in Orleans County Tuesday morning. One was found dead.

Niagara County Sheriff’s deputies and the U.S. Coast Guard were out Monday night and were still out on Tuesday morning, searching Lake Ontario.

Crews from Somerset police, New York State Parks and fire departments from Barker and Olcott were also there.

Boats and aircraft were used to search for the missing men.

The Sheriff tells News 4 the search started near Golden Hill State Park, east of Olcott.

The men were identified as Jacob McCormick, 21, Nathaniel McCormick, 21, and Joseph Williams, 18.

They told authorities they launched from Golden Hill State Park between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. Joe’s boat capsized around 11 a.m., and he held on to Nathaniel’s kayak while Jacob paddled away for help.

The two men drifted, likely more than 15 miles, and for several hours. As night fell and severe storms blew in, the men told authorities they got as close as 50 yards from what they thought was a rescue boat. But the boat could not hear them, and they continued to drift.

Boats came in due to severe weather at 9:47.

Joe and Nathaniel continued to drift, likely a few miles east of Point Breeze until they could make it to shore. They walked for about an hour before coming upon a jogger early Tuesday morning. The Orleans County Undersheriff, Christopher Bourke, says the men were hoarse from yelling for help.

“At some point, one of those rescue vessels was close to those individuals that survived, but they just couldn’t hear them. One of the men had lost their voice,” Bourke said.

The jogger brought them in, dried them off and called 911 at 5:48 a.m.

Jacob’s body was found by coast guard about two miles east of Point Breeze, and about a half mile from shore.

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