Missing kayaker's body found

Missing Kayaker's body found
Published: Jun. 10, 2018 at 10:26 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 11, 2018 at 6:31 PM EDT
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Lake Blackshear in Crisp County is where the kayaker went missing on Saturday afternoon....
Lake Blackshear in Crisp County is where the kayaker went missing on Saturday afternoon. (Source: WALB)
Over 7 agencies in Crisp, Lee, and Sumter Counties are working together to find the missing...
Over 7 agencies in Crisp, Lee, and Sumter Counties are working together to find the missing man. (Source: WALB)

LAKE BLACKSHEAR, GA (WALB) - For 20 years, Mark and Crystal Lund have taken adventures together.

"I felt so blessed I met him when I was 15, so blessed to find a guy that's just so good"

Saturday they went to Lake Blackshear, where they both grew up, to kayak on its soothing waters.

"So we just wanted to come out here for a day trip the weather was fine, it was calm"

But the weather quickly took a turn for the worst, causing Marks kayak to flip over before they could make it back to shore.

"I see him flip it and he's freaking out and his heads going under and he's coming back up and I get over to his kayak and he holds onto mine but he ends up flipping us both because he's panicking."

She said Mark wasn't the best swimmer though he tried his best.

Crisp County Firefighter Willie Jackson said this was a tough spot to be in.

Willie Jackson: "when you're paddling you're using your arms so even though you are a good swimmer because you've been paddling for however long your arms may be tired so you won't be able to swim as good"

And that's where the life jacket comes in, but neither Mark or Crystal wore one.

" You're in the middle of something like this and you're already exhausted, you're not going to make it"

Though she said she will never come back to this lake again, she, of course, wants everyone to be safe

" it's just really really hard everybody, from now on anybody I know, I don't care how good a swimmer you are, you need to wear a life jacket."

The body of Lund was found Monday morning.

Lund went missing just before 4 p.m. Saturday after his kayak overturned.

More than 31 first responders from the Department of Natural Resources, Crisp County Sheriff's Office, Crisp County Fire and EMS, dive teams from Sumter and Lee Counties, and Georgia State Patrol aviation joined in on the search.

The Crisp County Sheriff's Office said this is something the community hasn't experienced in quite some time.

"The last drowning was approximately four to five years ago and it actually occurred at the beach on Lake Blackshear in our Veterans State Park area," said Haley Little, Spokesperson for Crisp County Sheriff's Office. "Safety is our first priority, any type of preventive measures," said Little.

Law enforcement and the community said they just want peace for the missing man and his family.

"Our priority is recovery. We want to bring closure to the family, most definitely to the family and that's our priority at this point and time," said Little.

"Typically when there's any loss, or there are some traumatic things going on, people in these communities do like to pull together," said Andy Murdock, Crisp County resident.

Families around Lake Blackshear and Crisp County are doing just that after hearing a kayaker went missing.

"We were getting some sweet corn up and his wife called him and said someone is having problems right out here in the lake and it looks like someone possibly drowned," said Murdock.

During the search, members of a nearby church headed to the scene to comfort and support the man's family and first responders.

Members of Warwick United Methodist Church said they saw the search happening during their service this morning while on the lake.

After seeing the helicopters and dive teams, they prayed and decided to bring food to everyone on the scene.

Church members said they felt they had to step in, because of how close it is to home.

"I just feel that as Christians, we should meet the needs that we see, when needs are apparent. That's what the spirit of Jesus leads us to do. Is to meet the needs of those around us. Not to be blind of those that are in need and are hurting," said Murdock.

The church said it's their mission to act on compassion and support their community in difficult times.

Mark's wife said anyone who would like to help with funeral costs can make a donation to the Joseph Jones Funeral Home in Leesburg.

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