Accident Database

Report ID# 2657

  • Pinned in Boat against Rock or Sieve
  • Does not Apply
  • High Water

Accident Description

Missing Kayaker on upper gorge Green River (Seattle area)

New Forum: BoaterTalk Date: May 19 2008, 2:06 GMT

From: Pendejo

A Seattle man, around 45 years old, was kayaking with three other downstream from Kanasket Palmer State Park Saturday. Around 12 p.m., the man was seen going under the water in his kayak, but he didn’t reappear, said Urquhart.

The kayaker was in the gorge area of the Green River, with steep cliffs on both sides. The group was not able to leave the water to call 911 until they reached the Green River Gorge Bridge over an hour later, said Urquhart. The missing man was wearing black bib Gortex pants, a black and blue Gortex top, purple life jacket and a blue helmet. He was in a yellow and red Huka-brand kayak with skirt. The search for the kayaker was temporarily suspended Sunday afternoon. Crews said they have searched along the path of the kayaker, but they are waiting until they get a better idea of where to look. They recovered the kayaker’s paddle (Werner carbon), but have not seen any signs of the kayak or the man.

The Sheriff closed down the Green and another local river for recreational use because of high water and the high number of rescues.

From Boatertalk I heard the Green was running high but I didn't think anyone ran it at the levels I was hearing. The Army Core of Engineers will shut the dam off for a day or two to search. Can someone notify the local boating community if they find him? There was also a person from Federal Way who was in a department store raft tied to three other rafts who is currently missing. His three friends made it to shore near Flaming Geyser park. Hopefully both will be found.

A man who was involved in recovery was there and  said the way he was pinned was about as likely as being hit by a  meteorite. His kayak got wedged in one little spot that would hold  it--just a couple inches one way or the other and he would not have pinned. Mike absolutely had the skills to be out there  that day--the water was high but not "too high" for experienced  paddlers.

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