NARRAGANSETT, R.I. (WPRI) — A body found earlier this week in the area of Roger Wheeler State Beach has been identified as a Narragansett man.
The body of 36-year-old Justin Harvey was discovered by a fisherman after it washed up on a stretch of sand Tuesday morning, according to the R.I. Department of Environmental Management.
The DEM said Harvey and his girlfriend had paddled out from Roger Wheeler State Beach on separate kayaks around 9:30 p.m. Saturday. Harvey’s kayak sank after strong tides pulled them out to sea in rough water. Harvey’s girlfriend jumped in to rescue him but was unable to pull him up to the surface.
Search teams looked for Harvey for hours, according to the DEM, but eventually had to suspend the search around 2 a.m. the next morning due to poor weather conditions.
The Narragansett Fire Department, Portsmouth Fire Department, and the U.S. Coast Guard were called to the scene.
The DEM said Harvey was not wearing a life jacket at the time. There have been three boating fatalities in Rhode Island this year and none of the victims were wearing a life jacket.
The exact cause of his death is yet to be determined.