The body of a 23-year-old man who went missing in Shortt’s Lake, N.S. was found on Sunday,

“I could see what looks like at least one person's head, and they were shouting help,” says resident Virve Sandstrom.

Two young men, 22 and 23, had gone out in kayaks at 5:30 a.m. Residents say the weather and water was calm. 

The 23-year-old man was rescued immediately. Around 11:30 a.m., the operation switched to a recovery mission.

The man’s body was pulled from the water more than seven hours after his kayak submerged. 

Police say the search was not without challenges. The air search was delayed for an hour and a half due to the large area and it being heavily weeded.

“Due to the shift, the change of direction of the sun it cost quite a significant glare on the water, so as a result they weren't able to see beyond the surface of the water,” says Colchester RCMP Cst. Dal Hutchinson.

Local residents and cottagers jumped to action, taking to the water. RCMP say their efforts were extremely helpful.

“I'm incredibly proud of the neighbors around here for the way they pitched in, and equally proud of the volunteers and our search and rescue people,” says Sandstrom.

RCMP say they can’t confirm whether alcohol was involved, but say they are looking into it.

They confirm neither of the kayakers were wearing life jackets.

Police are continuing to investigate the situation.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kayla Hounsell.