Body recovered from Great Miami River ID'd as missing kayaker

Body recovered from Great Miami River ID'd as missing kayaker

HAMILTON, OH (FOX19) - The body of 29-year-old Benjamin Gipson was recovered from the Great Miami River in Hamilton Tuesday, according to the Butler County Coroner's Office.

Gipson was located just south of the High Street Bridge around 2:30 p.m., officials said.

He vanished shortly after two kayaks overturned in the river about 3 p.m. on Sunday, according to Hamilton Fire Captain Brian Ruhl.

Witnesses told authorities that Gipson went under the water when his kayak flipped between the High-Main Street Bridge and railroad trestle, according to Hamilton fire officials.

Wilbur Strobel, 35, was in another kayak that flipped, but was recovered by a jet skier and taken to safety.

Several agencies were on the search: Hamilton Fire Department, Butler County Sheriff's Office, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Texas EquuSearch Search and Recovery's Ohio Chapter, Christian Ministries, Boone County Search and Rescue, American Red Cross and Taskforce One.

Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones is warning people about water conditions and their dangers.

"This is a sad situation. You cannot control water or predict depth or speed," he said in a prepared statement.

"This young man probably didn't realize how strong the current was and he couldn't keep up. A life jacket may have prevented this tragedy," the sheriff said.

"I urge everyone to look up information on water safety and measures they can take to avoid these tragic accidents."

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