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Body Found Near Richmond May Be Missing SF Bay Canoer

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A Coast Guard crew on the San Francisco Bay. (CBS)

A Coast Guard crew on the San Francisco Bay. (CBS)

RICHMOND (CBS SF) — The U.S. Coast Guard recovered the body of a man matching the description of a canoer who was reported missing Wednesday evening.

Michael Butler, 52, was in a canoe with two friends near Treasure Island, where he lives, when the boat overturned, according to the Coast Guard.

Butler’s friends swam to shore and headed home, but Butler stayed behind and climbed back into the canoe, Coast Guard officials said.

His friends returned to the shoreline and called the Coast Guard when they could not find Butler around 6:15 p.m.

It is unclear why Butler stayed behind and did not go back to shore with his friends, Coast Guard Petty Officer Caleb Critchfield said.

The Coast Guard partnered with 12 local law authorities for an extensive search that spanned about 190 square miles, Coast Guard officials said.

A helicopter spotted an overturned canoe near Richmond’s Brooks Island late Thursday afternoon and a responding patrol boat discovered a body matching Butler’s description nearby.

Richmond police and fire departments assisted in recovering the body and local authorities are waiting for the coroner’s report to confirm his identity, according to the Coast Guard.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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