NILES — A New Year’s Day kayaking venture in Niles went horribly wrong Wednesday, leaving one of four kayakers dead.

Lt. Michael Stanton of the Niles Police Department said the four male kayakers launched upstream from the French Paper Mill Dam on the St. Joseph River. A witness called 911 around 8:30 a.m. when two of the kayakers started having problems. In all, he said three of the kayakers tipped over near the dam, where the current is relatively swift.