Kayak Angler Found Dead at San Diego’s Lake Sutherland

Bass man Leonard Kevin Jones, 57, had a heart condition, was out in stormy weather

Leonard Kevin Jones, 57, was found dead at San Diego's Lake Sutherland this weekend.

Leonard Kevin Jones, 57, was found dead at San Diego’s Lake Sutherland this weekend. Photo: City of San Diego.

Kayak Angler Found Dead at San Diego’s Lake Sutherland
Bass man Leonard Kevin Jones, 57, had a heart condition, was out in stormy weather
By Paul Lebowitz

On Saturday afternoon, staff members at Lake Sutherland in San Diego’s east county spotted a kayak belonging to well-known bass fisherman Leonard Kevin Jones, 57, floating upside down and unattended. San Diego County Sheriff Search and Rescue teams and San Diego City lifeguards responded, but suspended the search due to foul weather.

On Sunday morning, working in near-zero visibility, lifeguard and lake ranger divers discovered Jones’ body in 16 feet of water. He was not wearing a PFD. According to the UT San Diego, Jones was known to have a heart condition.

“[I’m] obviously not sure what happened out there, but I didn’t know him as a kayaker. He was known as a disciple of Bill Murphy, [who] would double anchor his boat off rock piles and fish live bait. He usually left the lake with a stringer of nice bass for the fryer,” said Kellen Ellis of SDFish.com. Ellis said he believes Jones turned to the kayak when the Sutherland launch ramp was no longer usable due to low water.

Sadly, Jones fits the unfortunate typical profile for kayak fishing fatalities: out solo, middle-aged or older, with a potential medical condition in foul weather and no PFD. The decisive risk factor will not be known until the medical examiner completes a pending autopsy.

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