Kayaker from New York likely drowned in frigid Maine pond: officials
A New York man renting a cabin in Maine with friends likely drowned when his kayak flipped in a bitterly cold pond, officials said.
Yohanna Milad Israel Rizk, 28, was kayaking on Bryant Pond in Woodstock Sunday afternoon when his watercraft somehow overturned, sending him into 47-degree waters, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife said.
Rizk, an inexperienced kayaker who didn’t know how to swim, was not wearing a life jacket and struggled to grab the vessel before going under in the 40-foot-deep waters, two friends told the agency, according to spokesman Mark Latti.
“The friends who were watching him saw him tip over,” Latti told The Post early Monday as game wardens resumed their search for Rizk.
Rizk’s friends then grabbed two kayaks and went onto the pond to look for him, but found no sign of him, Latti said.
Officials with the Maine Warden Service and the Woodstock Fire Department scoured the pond later Sunday afternoon for signs of Rizk, recovering a glove he was wearing at the time of the incident, Latti said.
An eight-member dive team resumed a search for Rizk early Monday using two boats, including one equipped with sonar.
“There are boats and divers in the water,” Latti said in an email. “They are searching in the area where he was last seen by friends. It is very windy, but that should not hamper operations.”
Rizk had rented a cabin with 11 friends on the lake and went kayaking Sunday afternoon. It’s unclear how long the group had been staying or why Rizk ventured out onto the pond alone, Latti said.
Attempts to reach friends and relatives of Rizk, who lived in the East Village, were not immediately successful early Monday.
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