- Associated Press - Monday, July 27, 2015

July 27—Search and rescue divers recovered the body of a 75-year-old New Jersey man Monday morning from Pocono Summit Lake in Coolbaugh Township, Monroe County Coroner Bob Allen confirmed.

Stanley Kurkowski of Bound Brook, who had a residence on the lake, told his family he wanted to take his blue, one-seat kayak out at 7:45 a.m. His grandson helped him carry it out onto the lake and Kurkowski went out in the boat by himself.

Kurkowski’s family called 911 at 8:26 a.m. when they saw his boat capsized on the lake, according to Pocono Mountain Regional Police Det. Sgt. Ken Lenning.

A black life vest was recovered inside the boat.

Kurkowski was found about 100 yards from the shore in about 6 feet of water. This is the first time in 9 or 10 years that fire company has been called to the lake, when it performed an ice rescue, Pocono Summit Volunteer Fire Company Chief George Tallmadge said.

The lake, which is public, sits in a private community.

Tobyhanna and Coolbaugh volunteer fire companies and water rescue teams along with North East Search and Rescue, the Bushkill Fire Company Underwater Search and Recovery and Scott Township Dive Rescue Specialists Water Emergency Response Team crews were on scene to help in the search. Two rescue boats were grouped together and stationary next to the overturned kayak several hundred yards from the shore as that area of the lake was searched.

Later in the morning, a drone equipped with sonar was seen hovering over the lake. The drone belongs North East Search and Rescue, Tallmadge said. A search and rescue boat with a dog set off at 10 a.m. into the water to help with the search. Two other search and rescue dogs stood by at the lake’s boat launch on its southeastern shore.

Kurkowski was declared dead at 11:15 a.m. A forensic autopsy will be performed at Lehigh Valley Hospital Tuesday to determine the cause and manner of death, Allen said.

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission is in charge of the investigation, since it was an in-the-water death.

Mike Gazza, 52, a resident there, says the lake is only about three feet deep in the middle.

“You can drop an oar in the water and touch the bottom,” Gazza said.

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(c)2015 the Pocono Record, Stroudsburg, Pa.

Visit the Pocono Record, Stroudsburg, Pa. at https://www.poconorecord.com/

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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