A man who was spotted clinging to a bucket in the Russian River near Healdsburg Memorial Beach Monday was pronounced dead after he was brought to shore, authorities said.
A kayaker reported seeing the man at about 1:15 p.m. in the water near Badger Park, which is around a 90-degree bend in the river upstream from Memorial Beach, authorities said.
The Sonoma County sheriff’s helicopter was overhead and had spotted the body when passing kayakers noticed the man as well, and began bringing him to shore, sheriff’s Sgt. Pete Quartarolo said. Quartarolo, who was aboard the aircraft, said the chopper landed nearby and helped with the body, but the man already was dead.
The man’s identity was not released pending notification of relatives. He lived outside Sonoma County, Sgt. Jason Lucas said at the scene.
The man appeared to be in his 50s. He wore a T-shirt, shorts and sandals, sheriff’s Lt. Ed Hoener said. It appeared he may have accessed the river from a trail leading from Badger Park, which is almost directly across the river from where the man’s body was brought ashore.
The stretch of river was relatively quiet Monday. A few other kayakers glided past the rocky beach where sheriff’s officials examined the body. The beach is adjacent to property owned by Syar Industries Inc.
Lucas said it was unclear whether the man was already deceased when he was first spotted clutching the bucket, and if so, whether he may have suffered a medical ailment upon entering the water.
The man had no identification on him. Lucas said he found the man’s vehicle parked at Badger Park.
Authorities do not suspect foul play in his death.
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