The body of a teenage kayaker from New York who had gone missing, has been found.
Raistlin Ruther, 18, an experienced sailor from Riverhead at the eastern end of Long Island took his kayak out on the water from Jamesport on Saturday morning at about 8am but never came back.
He was reported missing later that afternoon at around 4:50pm and his body was found by the Southold Police Department marine unit a mile west of Shinnecock Canal just before 9pm on Saturday. His capsized blue kayak was found nearby.
Raistlin Ruther, 18, from Riverhead, Long Island in New York took to the water on Saturday morning at around 8am but did not return
Ruther was said to be an expert kayaker and was wearing a wet suit at the time. Photo’s on his Facebook page often depicted him enjoying the outdoors
Ruther was said to be an expert kayaker and was wearing a wet suit at the time.
He had even called his grandmother to tell her that he was enjoying his time out on the water.
His family say that Raistlin loved to hike, run and would keep fit, often boxing with friends.
‘To lose someone like him is so difficult to accept. He was your gentle giant, an old man’s soul. I always told him how much I admired his maturity, independence, and adventurous spirit,’ said aunt Carissa Sexton said on a GoFundMe page on Sunday. ‘When Raistlin left us, a little piece of us all left with him.’
‘We truly hoped for a different outcome,’ said Captain Eva Van Camp, commander of Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound who was out searching the waters and nearby beaches for four hours.
Hours later, Ruther had still not returned home and the Coast Guard began a search for him
‘We offer our deepest sympathies to Raistlin’s family and friends during this unimaginable time,’ Van Camp said.
The boy’s mother Laura Gandara described her son as ‘a well-mannered, polite boy.’
‘He was not your average 18-year-old,’ she said to Newsday.
‘He just loved to be so healthy. He had absolutely no interest in trying any drugs — not smoking anything, not drinking anything. I just felt like I never had to worry about him,’ Gandara said, adding: ‘I never did think that something terrible would happen to him.’
‘My heart is forever broken! The one who grounded me My rock, my love!’ she wrote on Facebook together with a photo of her son.
The boy’s heartbroken mother Laura Gandara, left, described her son as ‘a well-mannered, polite boy.’
As well as enjoying his kayak, Raistlin regularly liked to box
Raistlin hoped to become a carpenter like his father. He always had a love of the water and began taking sailing lessons at the age of nine before getting his own sailboat at the age of 12.
He had dreams of living out on the water when he was older, on a bigger boat which he would use to sail up and down the East Coast.
Plenty of other friends and family members posted tributes to the 18-year-old.
‘Raistlin Ruther where do I begin?! This is so heartbreaking to every single one of us. You were such a good kid. Quiet & Adventurous￼. I loved seeing all you posted, boxing & out on the water. You did what you loved. Laura [mother] we all want him to come home, I pray you get through this tough time. I love you, I loved growing up with you, our laughs / our cries. I can’t believe you have to go through this tragedy,’ wrote friend of the family Amy Wells.
In the latest statistics, across the country there were 86 deaths of kayakers in 2019, the majority of which involved capsizing.
Plenty of other friends and family members posted tributes to the 18-year-old