Body of male kayaker from Michigan recovered Thursday afternoon in Illinois River near Pike/Brown county line

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VERSAILLES, Ill. — The body of a Michigan man was found in the Illinois River on Thursday.

Riley McLincha, 73, a male kayaker from Clio, Mich., went overboard on his kayak at approximately 11:46 a.m. on Tuesday, June 18, near a barge at the La Grange Lock and Dam near Versailles.

The Brown County Sheriff’s Department, as well as several other local agencies, responded to the scene to begin the search. Brown County Sheriff Justin Oliver said in a press release that McLincha was pulled under the barge in the lock chamber and was not wearing a life jacket. Crews were on the scene beginning Tuesday morning performing a search of the area.

Crews found McLincha in the river at approximately 11:55 a.m. Thursday, June 20, approximately a quarter-mile north of the Pike County line on the Brown County side of the Illinois River. Oliver pronounced McLincha dead at approximately 12:14 p.m., and the body was recovered from the river. An autopsy will be completed Friday in Bloomington.

McLincha was remembered on as a renowned runner with an eccentric style from the Flint, Mich., area. McLincha’s running style earned him the nicknames “Drubbler” for pounding the pavement while dribbling basketballs and “Runyaking” which combined running and kayaking.

McLincha’s drubbling skill was featured on Live With Regis and Kelly’s “Wild and Wacky Talent Contest” in 2010. In addition to runyaking and drubbling, McLincha was a musician and was once featured in the “Guinness Book of World Records,” for memorizing 7,500 numbers of Pi.

“I would like to thank all the search crews and the amount of professionalism from each department to bring an end to this horrible accident,” Oliver said in the press release.

Helping with the search were:

  • Brown County Ambulance Service
  • Mt. Sterling Fire Department/Brown County Fire Protection District
  • Brown County Emergency Management Agency
  • Brown County Public Health
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers/La Grange Locks
  • U.S. Coast Guard
  • Illinois Department of Natural Resources Conservation Police
  • Illinois State Police Air Operations
  • Schuyler County EMA/Rescue
  • Meredosia Fire Department/Rescue
  • Morgan County Emergency Management Agency
  • Morgan County Dive Team
  • Morgan County Coroner’s Office
  • Adams County Emergency Management Agency
  • Federal game wardens

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