Missing teen kayaker caught on WAVE Weather video before disappearance, raises concerns

The search for Jacob Stover has continued after his kayak was discovered near the Falls of the Ohio State Park Sunday.
Published: Jan. 15, 2021 at 12:28 AM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A 16-year-old kayaker from Louisville has not yet been found after going missing while out on the Ohio River Sunday.

The search for Jacob Stover has continued after his kayak was discovered near the Falls of the Ohio State Park Sunday; Stover reportedly put his kayak in the water at Cox Park earlier that day.

Louisville Metro Police Department investigators recently teamed up with Indiana Department of Natural Resources crew members to look for Stover. However, they confirmed to WAVE 3 News they do not know how or when Stover and his kayak separated.

Nearly 4.5 miles downstream from Cox Park, the WAVE 3 News Skytrack Weather Camera captured a blip on the water. The kayak is seen moving in a circle, raising questions as to whether something was preventing Stover from steering it correctly.

Nathan Ginn, an experienced kayaker, said the river current is stronger than it appears.

“There’s so many things going against that guy in that condition,” Ginn said, “being along and in the most dangerous spot... Cold weather kayaking is one of the most dangerous things you can do and springtime kayaking, when the water is still cold, people can fall in and don’t realize how terrible that experience is going to be for their bodies. It’s oftentimes not survivable.”

Stover was also recorded passing under the 2nd Street Bridge where there are signs prohibiting boats and kayaks. A short time later, the 16-year-old moves out of sight.

“If you look across the horizon, you see a line in the horizon,” Ginn explained. “There’s a drop, a low head dam, circulating dam.”

While watching the video, Ginn advised kayakers to carry life jackets and rescue equipment and to never paddle alone.

“They need to be wearing a dry suit and a life jacket on over that,” he said. “They need to have insulation underneath the dry suit to be ready to stay warm in that event. They need to have the right gear.”

Investigators told WAVE 3 News Stover was wearing a black winter coat, pants, a beanie, and black boots.

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