NARRAGANSETT, R.I. (WPRI) — The mother of a Narragansett man who died in a kayaking accident over the weekend says her son was an avid outdoorsman who loved fishing and hiking.
Janet Harvey called her son Justin’s death “a tragic accident.”
The R.I. Department of Environmental Management (DEM) said the 36-year-old and his girlfriend paddled out from Roger Wheeler State Beach on separate kayaks around 9:30 p.m. Saturday.
At some point, Justin’s kayak sank after strong tides pulled them out to sea in rough water. His girlfriend jumped in to rescue him, but was unable to pull him up to the surface, according to the DEM.
Justin’s mother said he was a commercial fisherman at Point Judith and had been going out in the evening to cast lines “all summer long.”
Search teams looked for Harvey for hours, the DEM said, but they had to suspend the search around 2 a.m. the next day due to poor weather conditions.
Harvey’s body was found by a fisherman after it washed up on a stretch of sand on Tuesday, according to the DEM.
The DEM said Harvey was not wearing a life jacket at the time. The exact cause of his death has not yet been determined.
Justin leaves behind a 16-month-old son named Sturgeon.
“He worried about him every day,” Janet Harvey said.
“We will let him know what a fun-loving guy his dad was,” she added.
Harvey said donations can be made to Point Judith Fishermen’s Scholarship Fund in Narragansett.