Barker, NY - An outing by kayak on Lake Ontario took a tragic turn for three young men on Monday. One of them lost his life on the lake which turned choppy with heavy rain, strong wind, and thunderstorms.
The search for the kayakers started early Monday yesterday evening shortly after they set out from Golden Hill State Park-- which is in Niagara County-- near the town of Barker.
Today we learned more about the search and the background of these young men.
That search by Niagara County first responders, the Coast Guard, and Canadian crews lasted all night in very rough weather conditions with that passing storm from last night. It ended with this sad development this morning.
Police have now identified the kayaker who died as 22 year old Jacob McCormick of Altoona, Pennsylvania.
The pastor of the Calvary Baptist Church in Altoona, Penna. released photos to 2 on Your Side on behalf of the McCormick family who attend his church. He says family members were notified that Jacob's body was found early this morning by search units.
Jacob was with his twin brother Nathaniel at they set out on Lake Ontario from the boat launch at Golden Hill State Park near Barker. They were also with 18 year old Joseph Williams who is also from Altoona.
Police say the men told them two of the kayaks swamped. Nathaniel McCormick and Joseph Williams were eventually able to swim to get to shore in Orleans County just before seven AM and police were called to their location. They say Jacob McCormick had taken his kayak to get help but did not make it.
Pastor Ronald Anderson said this about the young men who were members of his congregation. "Everything just erupted this morning. We were finding out that Jacob had passed. All three of these boys are young men that anybody would be proud to call your son or your friend. Very respectful, hard working, dedicated."
Pastor Anderson says there will be a vigil Tuesday night at his church in Altoona. Some of the family members and his assistant pastors are here in Western New York to help the other family members in Niagara County who the boys were visiting at the time. The McCormick family is originally from this area before their move to Penna.
State Police will assist the Somerset Town Police and Niagara County Sheriff's Office to complete their investigation but it appears to be a tragic accident.