Body of Norwich kayaker found

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NORWICH – Early Sunday afternoon, members of the Norwich Police Department located the body of 17-year-old kayaker Karl Nickens Joseph, a junior at Norwich Free Academy, in the area the kayak capsized.

A week ago, Norwich Police Dispatch received an emergency call stating a juvenile male, who had been kayaking in the Shetucket River behind 751 North Main Street had capsized.

Rescue efforts were unsuccessful. Numerous agencies including the Norwich Police Department, the Norwich Fire Department, the Connecticut State Police, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and several area volunteer fire companies assisted in recovery efforts.

Joseph’s godmother said that he did not know how to swim, and according to Joseph’s friends who were with him, he was not wearing a life jacket.

Police said his kayak was about 30 feet off shore when it flipped over. Two bystanders tried to pull him out of the water but were unsuccessful.

An experienced kayaker told Fox CT that he wouldn’t even boat in the waters near the dam.

“From what I’ve experienced, the rapids and stuff can be unforgiving. And, with the water temperatures like they are now, just being in the water a few minutes, it takes your breath away,” said Jake Hamilton.

The investigation has so far indicated the incident was a tragic accident but anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Wilbur of the Norwich Police Detective Division at 860.886.5561, extension 152.

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