ANITA, Iowa -- Iowa Department of Natural Resource officers recovered a body at Lake Anita State Park on Thursday.
The DNR is reporting the overturned kayak to the Lake Anita Park Manager around 3:00 p.m. The body of a male was pulled from the lake, along with a kayak and a paddle.
The male has been identified as Roland “Rollie” Henderson, 63, of Wiota, Iowa. An autopsy will be performed at the Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner in Ankeny.
“It’s just a shame that it has, it has to happen. Unfortunately it does,” says Brian Smith of the Iowa DNR.
DNR officials state this is the first drowning death at the park in its history. According to the DNR's website, this is the first boating fatality of the year, after 6 in 2016.
Investigators did not find a personal flotation device at the scene. Smith say this an unfortunate reminder for park visitors to pack a safety jacket.
The Wear It Iowa program is part of a national campaign designed to educate boaters on the importance of wearing a life-jacket while on or near the water. At least 84% of fatalities nationwide involved individuals who were not wearing a life jacket.
“I hope they walk away with how important it is to wear a life jacket. Not just have it with you, but also have it on," said Smith. "Again, to let someone know where you’re going and when you plan to be back."