An empty kayak was found in distress on a Massachusetts lake, police said. A body was later found.

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An empty kayak was found on a lake shortly after witnesses called 911 to report a kayaker in distress, leaving a man missing in Massachusetts, police said.

When officers and firefighters arrived at Freeman Lake in Chelmsford on the afternoon of October 3, the kayaker was nowhere to be foundChelmsford Police said in a news release.

An “intense search” continued for about three hours until a body believed to be a man’s was found at a depth of 13 feet around 3:30 p.m., authorities said.

Positive identification of the body is pending after the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner issues an official report, including the man’s cause of death, the release said.

Chelmsford police used drones to search for the man, while the state police air and underwater evacuation unit searched the lake, police said. In addition, the diving team of the fire department, boats and a sonar buoy were involved.

Those who live near Freeman Lake told NBC News that “the water is usually very calm.”

“There’s no current,” resident Darlene Farrell said, adding that there is a lot of yarrow, which is an aquatic plant. “If you don’t put your vest on and go down, you might not get up.”

Lifeguards are on duty in the summer Lake Freeman. Non-motorized boats are allowed on the lake, which is also used for swimming.

Chelmsford is 30 miles northwest of Boston.

Julia Marnin is a McClatchy National Real-Time reporter covering the Southeast and Northeast while based in New York. She is a graduate of The College of New Jersey and joined McClatchy in 2021. She has previously written for Newsweek, Modern Luxury, Gannett and others.

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