Accident Database

Report ID# 3544

  • Caught in Low Head Dam Hydraulic
  • Does not Apply
  • Cold Water

Accident Description

Former Kent man presumed drowned in Calif. accident

June 19, 2011 Record-courier staff report

A former Kent man is presumed drowned in a central California river following an inner tube accident, according to media reports. Adam G. Molai, 23, went missing in the Kings River while tubing with nine other armed forces personnel Friday, according to KGPE-TV in central California.

The TV station reported that boats and aircraft from several counties started searching for Molai at 8 a.m. Saturday. The search was called off and was expected to resume today. Molai is a U.S. Navy Aviation Electronic Technician 3rd Class and a member of Strike Fighter Squadron VFA 122 based at Naval Air Station Lemoore, according to KGPE.

The Fresno Bee reported that Molai and eight other Navy personnel apparently were in inner tubes on the Kings River near Latin, about 25 miles south of Fresno, at about 4 p.m. Friday when they approached a small overflow dam called a weir. The group got out of their tubes and swam to the shore, where they became stranded. A Jetskier threw them a rope and tried to pull them to safety, but the rope broke and all nine went down the weir, the newspaper reported. Eight of the personnel were rescued, with three suffering minor injuries, but Molai could not be located, the newspaper reported.

The newspaper and TV stations quoted Fresno County, Calif. authorities as saying the rescue has become a mission to recover Molai’s body. A 2005 graduate of Field High School, Molai joined the Navy in the summer of 2008. He attended the National Institute of Technology in Cuyahoga Falls. He and his wife, Angel. have two small daughters, including one born in early May.

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