Department of Environmental Management identifies man who died after kayak sank

This is a file image of Roger Wheeler State Beach's parking lot. (WLNE)

NARRAGANSETT, R.I. (WLNE) — The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management on Wednesday identified the man who died after his kayak sank over the weekend.

The incident happened at about 9:30 p.m. Saturday at Roger Wheeler State Beach in Narragansett.

Mike Healey, a spokesperson for the Department of Environmental Management, said Justin Harvey and his girlfriend were paddling out in two separate kayaks, when a strong tide pulled them farther from shore into rough water.

That’s when the 36-year-old’s kayak sank, Healey said.

“His girlfriend jumped into the water and tried to rescue him but could not pull him up to the surface,” said the Department of Environmental Management.

A marine task force, including the U.S. Coast Guard and the Narragansett Fire Department, responded and searched for Harvey until 2 a.m. on Oct. 2 before they suspended their search because of bad weather.

Harvey’s cause of death is unknown at this time, said Healey.

He added that Harvey, who’s from Narragansett, and his girlfriend were not wearing lifejackets at the time of the incident.

A fisherman found Harvey’s body at about 8 a.m. Tuesday on a stretch of sand just east of Roger Wheeler State Beach, said Healey.

This incident marks the third boating fatality in the state this year. The first one happened off the coast of Newport in July and the second one took place on at Lincoln Woods State Park on July 23.

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