Accident Database

Report ID# 3534

  • PFD Not Worn or Present
  • Does not Apply
  • Inexperience
  • One Boat Trip

Accident Description

07-04-11 ROSYLN, WA Renton man's body found along Cooper River (07-05-11)

Sheriff's deputies have found the body of a kayaker who disappeared on the Cooper River on Mon. evening (07-04). Officials said Lyvben Gankova, 47, of Renton, tried to float down the river with a friend in an inflatable kayak, but didn't make it far before the kayak capsized. Gankova's friend told searchers that he saw him holding onto part of a tree but quickly disappeared. The friend was wearing a life jacket, but Gankova was not. The Kittitas Co. sheriff's swift-water rescue team recovered Gankova's body Tue. afternoon near the head of Lake Cle Elum, about 2 ½ miles from where he was last seen alive.

Kittitas County Sheriff Press Release


Body of missing Kayaker found at mouth of Lake Cle Elum, Kittitas County, WA - 07/05/2011 - Kittitas County Sheriff's Swift-Water Rescue Team recovered the body of Lyvben Gankova after it was spotted by a KIRO 7 News Helicopter. While searching the Cooper River for missing 47 year old Lyben Gankova of Renton, the search team received word from a KIRO 7 News Helicopter of a possible sighting near the head of Lake Cle Elum. Rescue member Brent Severson, working on a single man pontoon boat, confirmed the sighting about 2 1/2 miles down river from the point last seen. Team members launched a 12 foot inflatable jet boat near the French Cabin Creek Bridge and recovered Mr. Gankova's body from the bottom of a 7 foot deep pool. The attached photo shows two members of the rescue team returning with the victim, who was located near the tree line, 1/4 mile below the boat.

July 5, 2011 at 1:44 PM
It is the Cle Elum River...we just got back from camping and Search & Rescue was out looking for him this morning. There was also another kayaker that went down the river at dusk last night looking for him. The river is running fast and furious, everyone needs to be careful. Prayers to the wife, she must be heartsick with worry.
July 5, 2011 at 12:05 PM
Just a heads up you should holdback on this type of commenting. The article was mis-reported. The missing person is not on the Cooper River but rather on the Cle Elum river. They started at the Cooper River Bridge which might be why this was miss-reported. As you mentioned the Cooper River is a very popular class IV-V Kayaking run but the lower Cle Elum where this occurred is a very common float used by people all summer that are not prepared or ready for the consequences a river can deal out. My prayers go out to the family.


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