23 Aug 2014
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Drowned Kayaker at Pohick Bay Identified

Rescue officials were at the scene two minutes after receiving the call.

Drowned Kayaker at Pohick Bay Identified Drowned Kayaker at Pohick Bay Identified Drowned Kayaker at Pohick Bay Identified

UPDATE: John R. Funk, a 58-year-old Lorton man, has been identified as the kayaker who drowned on Monday, Sept. 24 in Pohick Bay. A witness at the scene called 911 after seeing the kayak overturn and the man go under as he attempted to swim to shore. Funk was not seen wearing a personal flotation device.  

Fairfax County Police were called at 3:53 p.m., and were at Pohick Bay Regional Park at 3:55 p.m. Funk was spotted by a Fairfax County Fire and Rescue helicopter and was transported to Inova Mount Vernon Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.  

Recovered at the scene were a light blue kayak, three unopened cans of Coors Light and a fishing rod. 

No swimming signs are posted at the shoreline of the park, which is managed by the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority. "The waterbed is unpredictable. It changes constantly," said NVRPA spokesman Brian Bower to Patch. "We have about a dozen parks that we manage along waterfronts, and there are no swimming signs posted at all of them. Any time you deal with dark, open water, you're dealing with unpredictability and we have no way of knowing if there are deep holes, sharp rocks, glass or tree trunks down there."

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A kayaker who was fishing on Pohick Bay Monday afternoon in Lorton has apparently drowned, according to a witness on the scene.

The witness, Bob P., who asked that his last name not be used, called 911 when he saw the man call for help.

"I saw a guy kayaking out there," he said. "The next thing you know, he rolls over and starts swimming for shore. He got about 100 yards from the shore and yelled 'help' and he never came back up."

"I was waving to him and was giving him the thumbs up to see if he was alright," he said. "He probably got stuck in the mud because right where he went down is where they found him." 

Bob P. said he was eagle-watching with his binoculars near a pier when he noticed the man. He called 911 at 3:20 p.m. He described the kayaker as white, middle-aged and heavy set. He said he saw a fishing rod protruding from the front of the kayak. 

It took approximately a half hour to pull the man to shore. A fishing rod, and three full cans of Coors Light beer were recovered at the scene.

Police spotted the man using a police helicopter. Police divers in a rubber raft, with help from the helicopter, pulled him from the water.

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