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Police ID kayaker whose body was recovered from James River

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CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Authorities have identified the man whose body was recovered after he went under water trying to retrieve his kayak from the James River at Robious Landing Park in Chesterfield County Wednesday morning.

Crews were called to the park at 7:45 a.m. after witnesses said a man went into the river and attempted to retrieve a kayak that had floated away, Lt. C. L. Garrett with Henrico Police said.

Water rescue crews from Chesterfield Fire and EMS, Virginia State Police and Henrico Fire searched for the victim for nearly eight hours.

Crews found the body of 62-year-old Gerald Franklin Manikus, of Maidens, Virginia, at 3:25 p.m. near the shore.

Manikus' body was transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner where his exact manner and cause of death will be determined.

Officials said foul play is not suspected.

The park is located past James River High School and it is frequented often by boaters and swimmers. The water in that area of the river is about eight feet deep.

A group who frequently uses the park for open water swimming canceled their swim scheduled Wednesday night.

The man's kayak was recovered downstream.

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