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Search continues for missing man who was canoeing with friends

BERRIEN COUNTY, Mich. -- The search for a missing canoer on the St. Joseph River continued for much of the day Monday.

Michael Scott, 35, of Kalamazoo, disappeared Saturday while canoeing with his friends from the Kalamazoo Paddle Club.

The Berrien County Sheriff's Office Dive team, Marine Division and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources are involved in the search for Scott.

"We are still praying for the best outcome. That he's found on land, alive and safe," said Chief Deputy Robert Boyce of the Berrien County Sheriff's Department.

Chief Boyce says because the river is so high, it's not safe to put divers in the water until they can pinpoint a location to make a recovery.

Scott's friends are also helping with the search.

"We've seen so far, the canoeists and kayakers have been extremely helpful and safe out there in the water," said Chief Boyce.

Boyce says underwater and aerial drones have also aided the search.

"We are still trying to piece everything together. And until we actually can locate him alive or his body, we may not have the answers until we can actually put the puzzle together," said Chief Boyce.

Mary Blanchard of the Kalamazoo Paddle Club said she has seen sheriff's deputies come in on their day off to help with the search.

There are at least five agencies assisting in the search.

"There's no words to explain what they are doing for us, and how grateful we are as a family," said Blanchard.

She says Scott's friends and family are trying to stay strong, but it is difficult.

"There are a few of us that are really having difficulties, especially those that were with Michael on the journey. There´s a lot of guilt and frustration, anger," said Blanchard. "Every emotion is coming out every two minutes around this place. We are trying to breathe and focus on what we´re here for, and that´s bringing Michael home."

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