‘Our hearts are broken’: Police identify boater who drowned in Canton pond

CANTON, MASS. (WHDH) - Divers pulled the body of a missing boater from Reservoir Pond in Canton early Thursday morning.

James Paschal, 26, of Canton was found dead in the pond around 2 a.m. after dozens of search and rescue crews came together Wednesday night to look for him.

“Our hearts are broken for the family,” Police Chief Ken Berkowitz said. “It’s a town where everybody knows everybody and we do know the family. Our hearts go out and our condolences to the family.”

Police received a call from a resident of the Pleasant Circle neighborhood who saw a man struggling in the water with his boat overturned around 8 p.m. She ran to retrieve a life preserver but Paschal had sunk below the surface when she returned, police said.

Officials believe Paschal was fishing before falling into the pond.

“There was fishing gear in his boat,” Fire Chief Charles Doody explained. “It’s likely he was near the shore when his boat overturned.”

Search crews combed the pond for hours, with dark conditions making it difficult.

“It’s a murky pond, quite a bit of weed growth, silt, very difficult visibility,” Doody explained. “Divers had a difficult time with visibility.”

His death is believed to be accidental.

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