'The Worst Feeling In The World:' Father Describes Desperate Search For Missing Kayaker

A missing kayaker’s body was found at Lake Carl Blackwell this week, leaving an Enid family devastated. With the help of several other agencies, OSU police eventually discovered Brendan’s body in the lake Tuesday evening.

Wednesday, May 22nd 2024, 6:10 pm

By: News 9, Cameron Joiner


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A missing kayaker’s body was found at Lake Carl Blackwell this week, leaving an Enid family devastated.

What was supposed to be a fun family lake weekend turned into a tragedy. 20-year-old Brendan Arrington’s father says he watched his son paddle out on a kayak and the next second he was gone.

"We didn't realize we were going to go to the lake one day and then turn around and not bring all of our family members home," Joshua Combs, Brendan’s father, said in a phone interview with News 9.

Combs was at Lake Carl Blackwell Sunday with the rest of their family when Brendan decided to venture out on the lake.

"I figured you know he's 20 years old he knew how to swim,” Combs said.

But he quickly lost sight of Brendan, eventually calling OSU police for help.

Joshua found his son’s kayak shortly after but there was no sign of the 20-year-old.

"It was the worst feeling in the world. We had no idea where he was," Combs said.

The search continued with OSU Police.

"To locate any signs that he maybe made it to shore, maybe was walking around,” Sgt. Kyle McCool with OSU police said.

He oversaw the search for Brendan and said it was unclear what happened to the kayaker.

"With the way the current was, with how choppy the water was, and with the storm that came through, there was just a lot of uncertainty,” he said.

With the help of several other agencies, OSU police eventually discovered Brendan’s body in the lake Tuesday evening.

"I mean it's all we can do now is pray. He's with the Lord now and he's in a better place," Combs said.

Brendan’s father is leaning on his Christian faith as they navigate this tragedy.

"Sunday we were at the lake having a good time and now we're talking about burial," he said.

Brendan’s family set up a GoFundMe to help cover the funeral costs. You can click here to donate.

Related Coverage: Body Of Missing Kayaker Recovered At Lake Carl Blackwell

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