Hope fading in search for missing canoeist Spokane search and rescue crews are searching the Spokane River south of Seven Mile in Riverside State Park for an 18-year-old canoeist who has fallen into the river, but hope is fading about finding his body. Cpl. Jon Strickland of the Spokane Police says the father of Kiernan Norman reported his son missing on Saturday morning after he failed to come back from a canoeing trip in Riverside State Park on Friday night. He said that is wasn't usual for his son to not return home in the evening, but when he still wasn't home in the morning, he went to the river to look for Norman. That's when he found Norman's canoe in the water.
Strickland said that Norman put his canoe into the river south of Devil's Toenail, which are rated a Class III rapid, around 6 p.m. on Friday. A friend of Norman's followed along on the shore as the canoe went downstream. But somewhere past Devil's Toenail, the canoe crashed and Norman went into the river. The friend saw Norman go under, and tried looking for him from the shore. Norman was last seen downstream from the Devil's Toenail. Strickland said it is unknown why the friend didn't report the accident to authorities.
The canoe was spotted about a quarter mile north of the Spokane Rifle Club, and was pulled out in that same area. A life jacket was seen further upstream and was pulled out. Norman had the life jacket in the canoe, but according to Strickland, he wasn't wearing it. The Spokane County Sheriff's Department Marine Patrol and rangers from Riverside State Park helped in the search. It isn't known how long the search for Norman will be taking place. The water temperature in the Spokane River was at 36 degrees this afternoon, and Strickland said that the search was likely a recovery at this point. (Aluminum canoe, no PDF, 36 degree water, 11,000 cfs.)
Paul Delaney Ye Olde Rafter Guy