Authorities say a kayaker is missing after reportedly falling into the Grand River in Michigan. The Lansing Fire Department says rescue teams were told that the man fell into the water Tuesday evening near the Brenke Fish Ladder in Lansing. A search didn't immediately find the man, but the Lansing State Journal reports kayak and paddle were spotted floating down the river. The missing man's name wasn't immediately released. Boats and divers were used to search the water on Tuesday. The effort was to continue Wednesday.
Fire department spokesman Steve Mazurek says "given the water level and the speed the river is traveling right now, we knew this was going to be a long, intensive operation." The river has been high due to rain and melting snow, causing recent flooding.
February 27, 2018, Lansing Michigan, Grand River. Devon Christmas was a fatal drowning on the Grand River, in Lansing Michigan. The Grand River was high enough that there was only a standing wave at the location of a lowhead dam on January 25. (Personal observation at the Brenke dam - I was taking photographs of the flood) On the 27th, the water had a temporary recession, and there was about 6 inches of face showing at the dam. Mr. Christmas floated over the face, and was caught in the boil. Mr. Christmas was flushed from the boil, and last seen floating into debris at a downstream bridge abutment. (Personal observation by me on that day was that the boil was about 25 feet in length downstream of the dam.)
Mr. Christmas' body was found by his father on Saturday, March 11, at the first river bend downstream of the dam.
Mr. Christmas had friends who also had recreational boats, and had talked of going over the dam; they had watched Tube videos of people running lowheads, noteably one published from the Grand Rapids Michigan 'whitewater' group of a member going over a 4' face in Grand Rapids. (The guy in the Grand Rapids video was only safe by luck)
I was not able to tell if Mr. Christmas was wearing his pfd at the incident. There was no pfd on the body when found.