Man dies over holiday weekend
by James Joyce III Yakima Herald-Republic
Sheriff's deputies were called to a rafting accident on the Cle Elum River. Two men were reported to have hit a log jam that formed across the front of a large island less than a mile from the head of Lake Cle Elum. Witnesses reported seeing one of the men disappear under the log jam. Rescue workers searched the log jam, which was about 100 yards long, for survivors. They located the body of Kenneth Clark, 44, of Seattle.
It took emergency and rescue workers more than two hours to recover the body that was about 3 feet under the surface on the southwest side of the log jam. The body was just off the base of a root ball that was about 8 feet wide. It had to be cut away to reach the body. Details on a second rafter were unavailable. Calls to the Kittitas County Sheriff's Office seeking more information were not returned Monday.
The high volume and velocity of water on the river make it dangerous for swimmers and rafters. The spring water runoff from the mountains has created large jams, some closing off entire channels of the river. Those wanting to enjoy the waters are encouraged to call the Kittitas County Sheriff's Office Marine Patrol before rafting unfamiliar bodies of water. They can be reached at 509-925-8534.
West Seattle Man Dies In Cle Elum Rafting Accident
May 26, 2008
Police said two men on a raft hit a log jam near the head of Lake Cle Elum. Witnesses told police they saw one of the men disappear under the log jam. The sheriff's swift water rescue team was called in to search the 100 yard-long jam, said police. It took over two hours for the team to recover the body of the 44-year-old Kenneth Clark from West Seattle. Clark's body was at the bottom of an eight foot in diameter root ball, said rescuers.
Family of Clark told KIRO 7 that they warned him not to go rafting because the water was too cold and too swift. They say he'd rafted the same river for 10 years, but that he could not swim and he didn't have a life jacket. Deputies said the spring runoff has created very large jams, some closing off entire channels of the river. They recommend calling the Kittitas County Sheriff's Office Marine Patrol at 509-925-8534 before rafting unfamiliar bodies of water.
Copyright 2008 by KIROTV.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Last updated May 26, 2008 8:35 p.m. PT
Seattle man dies in rafting accident Logjam on the fast Cle Elum proves deadly
A Seattle man was killed Sunday on the Cle Elum River when the raft he was riding in hit a logjam, which trapped him under water. Kenneth Clark had been rafting with another man when the accident happened less than a mile above the head of Lake Cle Elum, the Kittitas County Sheriff's Office reported. Rescuers searched the 100- yard long logjam and spent more than two hours cutting away roots to recover the 44- year-old man's body, according to Undersheriff Clayton Myers. The river is running fast and clogged with logjams this year. The sheriff's office recommends that people unfamiliar with the waterway call its marine patrol unit, 509-925-8534, before rafting.