Man finds two kayakers dead in Canyon Lake

Rick Dillenbeck didn't hesitate when family members asked if he would help

By Bill Barajas - Reporter

CANYON LAKE, Texas - The search for Larry Earp, 25, and his brother Tanner Earp, 17, started late Saturday night.

The Earp brothers were last seen launching their kayaks from Jacob's Creek Park around noon Saturday.

Family members reported the pair missing at about 9 p.m. Satuday when they didn't return home from kayaking.

Rick Dillenbeck, a 16-year native of Canyon Lake, didn't hesitate when family members asked if he would help with the search.

Starting at around 10:30 p.m. Saturday Dillenbeck and his neighbor jumped into his boat and began searching the lake. They searched until early Sunday morning but came up empty.

"Very tragic, very emotional. There's hope, you find an item here an item there and you hope you can find them," said Dillenbeck.

The search resumed at 7:30 a.m. Sunday. This time Dillenbeck was accompanied by the father of the missing kayakers.

"I actually spotted the bodies first and of course they had life jackets on. I saw the one body and the family members were very emotional," Dillenbeck said.

Dillenbeck is no stranger to rescue missions. It's what he does for a living.

“I'm in the Texas Army National Guard and I'm a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter pilot so we work with Texas Task Force One. We've worked the Dallas floods, the Wimberley floods," said Dillenbeck.

While he isn't sure what caused the brothers to drown, Dillenbeck knows the cold weather did not help.

"The water was about 55 degrees. I don't know how long someone can be in the water at what temperatures and all that with hypothermia," Dillenbeck said.

Comal County Justice of the Peace Jennifer Saunders has ordered an autopsy to help determine the cause of death.

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