The body of Blake McSparrin, 28, of Stillwater, was recovered in the north end of Boomer Lake Friday morning. He was a popular gymnastics coach at Youth Fitness Zone.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol dive team located McSparrin about three-quarters of a mile north of the boat ramp off Airport Road, on the north end of the lake.
His overturned kayak was found floating near the bank in a creek area to the north on Thursday evening around dusk by a group of kayakers.
Corey French, one of the kayakers, said they investigated because they didn’t see anyone in the area. When they turned the kayak over, they found personal items including boots, a backpack and fishing gear. They also saw a floating bucket with an unopened beer in it.
French said they were concerned because the kayak and personal items appeared to be of good quality and not the type of things he thought someone would just leave behind.
The search began shortly after 9 p.m. Thursday and continued until 11 p.m.
The Stillwater Police Department and Stillwater Fire Department responded to the scene with the SFD water rescue boat. Stillwater Emergency Management assisted, using its unmanned aerial vehicle and thermal imaging camera.
Two of the kayakers and another boater helped the searchers find the area where the unattended kayak was located.
A Mediflight helicopter from Oklahoma City was called in to fly over and illuminate the search area with its flood lights, but nothing could be seen on the surface of the water.
The search was called due to darkness and both Boomer Lake ramps were barricaded to keep boats off the water until the search could be completed.
Four OHP dive teams arrived Friday morning and the search resumed. The first team located McSparrin at 9:30 a.m., about 130 feet from where his kayak had been found the night before.
McSparrin was positively identified by the Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s Office, using his driver's license. The Medical Examiner's Office took custody of his body.
OHP has jurisdiction over incidents that occur on waterways in the state and will lead the investigation. SPD will also handle aspects of it.