Officials recover body of missing man whose canoe flipped Sunday in Virginia Beach

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Divers have recovered the body of a man who went missing Sunday afternoon after his canoe flipped in a man-made lake.

Police confirmed the finding after the body was pulled from the water around 4 p.m. Monday. Officials later identified the man as 30-year-old David Stuart Molloy Jr.

His body was being taken to the medical examiner late Monday afternoon.

Virginia Beach police say the canoe flipped around 3:30 p.m. Sunday in the Sherwood Lakes neighborhood off of Locksley Arch. 

Two people were in the canoe — a woman clung to the canoe and was rescued, but a man went under and did not resurface.  

Residents know the dangers of the former sand pit that police say can reach depths of about 80 feet.

“It’s tragic,” said Peter Kilgore. “My grandkids have paddle boards, in fact they were out there on Saturday. We always insist that they wore life vests out there.”

Units from the police dive team, the Virginia Beach Fire Department and Virginia Beach Emergency Medical Services used side-sonar and other tools to search the lake bed. 

Shortly before noon on Monday, officials found what they call a “diveable target,” and dropped a crab pot roughly 45 feet in the murky water as a reference point for divers. 

On Sunday night, 10 On Your Side’s Tamara Scott spoke with witnesses near the lake.

“I was just sitting on the porch, just watching the lake and I watched the canoe flip over,” said Sherwood Lakes resident Joseph Barlow.

“They started screaming for help. I ran downstairs, asked my wife to call the police and grabbed the paddleboard,” said Barlow. He says he saved one of the canoe’s occupants by putting them on the back of his paddleboard and getting back to shore.  

Barlow tells 10 On Your Side he hopes anyone would react the way he did in that situation, but he feels bad that he couldn’t do anything for the other person that was in the canoe when it overturned. 

Allen Perry with Virginia Beach police wants to remind citizens the importance of using life jackets. “If you’re going to be out on the water, wear a life jacket. Even if you are an experienced swimmer, tragedy happens.

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