Accident Database

Report ID# 116930

  • Other
  • Does not Apply
  • Solo Paddling

Accident Description

From Penelope Ayoub: Boat was an Ocean Kayak sit-on top touring design. Water was fast-moving Class II. PFD was unzipped and came off. His body was found in a strainer near Ira road.


70-year-old who went missing while kayaking in Akron found dead on Cuyahoga River

Search teams from several police department used multiple drones until they located an object in the river.

Emily Mills, Akron Beacon Journal

March 6, 2023

Doug Maher, 70, went missing while kayaking near the Oxbow Area, in the Cascade Valley Metro Park. Maher didn't arrive to meet his family at a pre-planned location in Brecksville. Maher's body was found Monday using drones. 

A kayaker missing since Sunday was found dead Monday by rescue workers using drones to search the Cuyahoga, River. Doug Maher, 70, had been kayaking Sunday near the Oxbow Area of the Cuyahoga River in Akron and was reported missing after failing to meet his family at a preplanned location. 

Lt. Tim Morrison, with the Akron Fire Department, told Beacon Journal partner News 5 Cleveland that search teams from several departments in the area searched using as many as six drones at different heights until they located an object in the river that looked out of place. A search team was sent to the location and a park ranger found Maher's body. 

Morrison said the search may have taken days without the drone technology. He said the family had described Maher as "a very outdoorsman type of person, ran marathons and was very active." 

Akron police said they responded to the McDonald’s in the Merriman Valley just after 9 p.m. Sunday after receiving calls that he had gone missing while kayaking in the Cascade Valley Metro Park. 

Police said after Maher didn't arrive to meet his family at the location in Brecksville, additional officers converged on Merriman Road and the surrounding area to join Summit Metro Parks and recovery teams from Macedonia and other agencies to help in the search. 

According to Summit Metro Parks, the paddling access point at the Oxbow Area is only for experienced paddlers.


The search was made easier Monday because the river was about 4 feet lower than it was Sunday, Morrison said.

Join AW and support river stewardship nationwide!