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One canoeist dead after incident on Caz Lake

County deputies currently investigating incident

— Arthur Morris III, a 64-year-old Manlius resident, died the evening of July 8 at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse after falling out of his canoe around 4 p.m. in the southwest corner of Cazenovia Lake.

According to investigating Madison County Sheriff’s Deputies, Morris was in his canoe, apparently fishing about 100 feet from shore, when he fell into the water. Following an autopsy performed by the Onondaga County Medical Examiner, foul play has been ruled out.

"Although the final report is still pending additional study results, Morris most likely died as a result of existing health issues. No foul play is suspected and drowning was ruled out," said Madison County Undersheriff John Ball in a statement released July 10.

Witnesses who were in the area at the time of the incident, two other canoeists and a male in a kayak who were not associated with this male, saw Morris clinging to the side of his vessel and then paddled over to offer assistance. According to the witnesses, Morris was responsive and wearing a life preserver when they pulled him from the water.

The citizens then began to administer CPR and notified the Madison County 911 Center of the incident.

Cazenovia Fire and Rescue responded, along with CAVAC, who continued CPR upon arrival. The victim was then transported by CAVAC to St. Joseph’s Hospital, were he was pronounced dead shortly after 5 p.m. July 8.

Sheriff’s deputies, along with the Madison County Sheriff’s Marine Patrol, continued the investigation in the following days.

Deputies are still looking to speak with people who were nearby on a newer model boat. The vessel is believed to be white with a blue stripe and blue sun cover, pulling a red tube behind it that was in the area at the time.

The boaters, along with anyone else who may have witnessed the incident, are asked to call Sheriff’s Investigators at 366-2311.

Pierce Smith is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at 434-8889 ext. 338 or editor@cazenoviarepublican.com.

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