SALAMANCA — A 62-year-old Salamanca man drowned while kayaking Sunday in the Allegheny River, authorities reported.
Salamanca Police reported that the man’s body was recovered from the river off of Front Avenue near Iroquois Drive at about 7:27 p.m.
Salamanca Police Chief Troy Westfall confirmed Tuesday morning the victim was Michael “Dutch” Trummer.
Trummer had been kayaking with his wife near the bend in the river south of West State Street when he dropped a paddle and attempted to recover it, Westfall said. He said Trummer went under the surface, came back up, went under again and didn’t resurface.
Police said a call reporting seeing the body in the river was made at 4:54 p.m. Sunday.
A social media page posted at 5:24 p.m. that a man was in distress in the river south of West State Street. The post said the Salamanca Fire Department called for multiple water rescue and dive teams to respond.
At about 5:30 p.m., Cattaraugus County emergency dispatchers called for the Allegany and Westons Mills dive teams to assist with a possible drowning. At about 5:35 p.m., the McKean County dive team was also on its way to help.
At 5:57 p.m., a social media post indicated emergency dispatchers reported the Allegany and Westons Mills divers were on scene, and Chautauqua County was sending divers as well.
Westfall said Trummer was not wearing his life jacket and it was tied to his kayak.
“If anything, I would ask that people please wear their life vest when they go kayaking,” he said. “It can be horribly uncomfortable, especially when it’s hot, but you never know.”
Although much of that section of the river is only a couple of feet deep and not difficult to wade through, Westfall said there is a section of the bend that drops off and could be as deep as 10 feet.
“All of a sudden you reach the far bank, the last third, and there’s a channel there,” he said. “And it drops off quickly. It’ll surprise you.”
Westfall said there is no reason to believe the incident was anything other than an accident.
(This story was updated the morning of Tuesday, July 28 with additional information from Salamanca police officials.)