Searchers find body of missing paddleboarder at Rockport State Park

Searchers late Thursday found the body of a 39-year-old paddleboarder who died after falling into the water at Rockport State Park in Summit County on Thursday.

Searchers late Thursday found the body of a 39-year-old paddleboarder who died after falling into the water at Rockport State Park in Summit County on Thursday. (Summit County Sheriff's Office )



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PEOA, Summit County — Searchers late Thursday found the body of a 39-year-old paddleboarder who died after falling into the water at Rockport State Park on Thursday.

Two friends witnessed Matthew Britton, of Taylorsville, and his dog fall off the paddleboard into the reservoir, the Summit County Sheriff's Office said. The man was not wearing a life jacket; the dog was wearing a life jacket and returned to shore safely.

A coordinated search began, with crews using Wasatch County Search and Rescue's sonar technology and Summit County Search and Rescue's remotely operated vehicle. After several hours, crews found Britton's body underwater about 150-200 yards from the shoreline just before 11 p.m., according to the Summit County Sheriff's Office.

"We are grateful to the many rescuers who responded to assist with the search. Our hearts go out to the Britton family and friends as they grieve the tragic loss of Matthew," sheriff's officials said.

Summit County Sheriff's Capt. Andrew Wright Summit said Thursday that at the time of the drowning, no state park officials were at the reservoir. But a search and rescue team, drones and a helicopter arrived soon to search for the body. Initially, officials held out hope that Britton might have been picked up by another boat and survived.

Authorities encouraged people to wear life vests when recreating on lakes and reservoirs.

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Arianne Brown is a breaking news reporter for KSL.com. She also enjoys finding and sharing stories of everyday Utahns, a talent she developed over several years of freelance writing for various Utah news outlets.
Ashley Imlay covers state politics and breaking news for KSL.com. A lifelong Utahn, Ashley has also worked as a reporter for the Deseret News and is a graduate of Dixie State University.

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