Truck driver sought after overturned kayak prompts water search

Local News

Investigators now believe the kayak’s owner drove away after leaving the vessel floating in the Whitins Reservoir.

This kayak was found overturned in a Douglas reservoir Thursday. Police are searching for its owner.

Investigators in Douglas are asking for the public’s help in locating the driver of a pickup truck seen transporting a kayak that was found overturned in a local reservoir Thursday.

A dive team conducted an extensive search in the Whitins Reservoir after witnesses spotted an unattended kayak floating in the water near the Wallis Street Causeway, according to officials. The Douglas Fire Department said that at the time, there was reason to believe a person was missing in the water.

Divers from the District 7 Regional Dive Team and Massachusetts State Police searched the reservoir until Thursday night and resumed efforts the next morning, officials said. Environmental police assisted in the search using boat-mounted sonar units. 

However, authorities said Friday the search efforts were “unfounded” as the investigation shifted to locating the kayak’s owner.

“Through sources obtained by the Douglas police, it was determined that the owner of the kayak left the boat at the reservoir and drove away, shortly after it was discovered floating unattended by bystanders,” fire officials wrote in a Facebook post.

Investigators released surveillance photos taken at 9:22 a.m. that show a pickup truck transporting the kayak on NW Main Street, toward the reservoir. Hours later, at 2:04 p.m., the same truck was photographed traveling away from the reservoir, without the kayak.

Whitins Reservoir is a private watershed district with no public beach or boat access. 

Anyone with information about the kayak’s owner should contact the Douglas Police Department at 508-476-3333. 

Originally posted 2023-08-19 16:07:44.