Accident Database

Report ID# 37436

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

Accident Description

Kayakers identified; Crews still searching for one

By KCRG-TV9 News Staff | 

Posted: Mon 5:52 PM, Sep 03, 2018  | 

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- Authorities have identified the two people who capsized in a kayak on Indian Creek Monday afternoon.

According to Greg Buelow, spokesperson for Cedar Rapids police and fire, 30-year-old Samantha Marie Conley and 34-year-old John Michael Conley were the two people who capsized in a kayak on Indian Creek at around 4:15 p.m. Monday. Samantha was treated and released from Mercy Medical Center. John is still missing.

Crews continued searching for him Tuesday morning. After beginning the day using boats, they switched to land and drone based operations due to dangerous condition on Indian Creek. The search area included the point where Indian Creek empties into the Cedar River.

The Cedar Rapids Fire Department has been assisted by the Linn County Sheriff's Office, the Linn County Emergency Management Agency, the Johnson County Dive Team and the Salvation Army. Buelow says 35 volunteers are also helping with the search.

A man is missing after a water rescue on Indian Creek.

Authorities say a kayak overturned around 4:15 p.m. on the creek, causing a male and female to go into the water. Firefighters and police officers responded at 4:28 p.m. to the 1800 block of Timber Wolf Trail SE. Firefighters were able to navigate a boat upstream from Rosedale Road and were able to rescue the female at 5:04 p.m. 

Crews searched until nightfall Monday. "Clearly this now becomes a recovery operation at this point unless something miraculous and he's something down stream further," Greg Buelow said.

Police were called to the scene just before 430 this afternoon. At this point, police believe a man and a woman were in the same kayak when it overturned.They believe the kayak hit a large pile of logs. That's when the woman was able to climb on top of the logs and scream for help. The man fell under the logs, and hasn't been seen since.

People nearby spotted the situation-- and threw the woman a rope to hold onto. Firefighters quickly arrived and had to go into the water to get the woman. Multiple agencies searched for the man after this, with rescue boats and even drones. Police say the water currents and weather conditions made the search more difficult.

"According to some people around here they've said this is one of the fastest they've seen it move. This is particularly dangerous in this area and obviously it's after the fact now but obviously we don't want anyone on the waterways and how quickly things can turn tragic," Buelow said.

Neither person was wearing a life jacket. The man and woman are believed to be in their 30's.

The Johnson County Dive Team is en route to assist at the scene.

Authorities want to remind people area creeks and waterways are dangerous right now with heavy precipitation that has fallen.


MEDIA RELEASE: Search for Missing Kayaker Continues

September 4, 2018; 5:00 p.m.

The Cedar Rapids Fire Department is continuing to search for a kayaker that went into Indian Creek near the vicinity of the 1800 block of Timber Wolf Trail SE yesterday afternoon at approximately 4:15 p.m. Two individuals were on a kayak in the water when it apparently hit debris and overturned. One of the victims, identified as Samantha Marie Conley, DOB/08-23-1988, age 30, was able to get on top of the debris and was later rescued from the water by firefighters. Samantha Conley was transported to Mercy Medical Center and was subsequently treated and released.

The other victim, identified as John Michael Conley, DOB/01-08-1984, age 34, is still missing. Firefighters resumed the search for John Conley at approximately 7:15 a.m. Firefighters conducted rescue and recovery operations last night and had to cease operations at nightfall. Currently, emergency crews are using land based and drone searches as Indian Creek is rising and too dangerous for boat operations.

Firefighters did launch boats today on the Cedar River and conducted a search near the point Indian Creek empties into the river. Also, earlier today, firefighters went upstream in a boat on Indian Creek from the Cedar River but encountered a significant amount of debris.

The Fire Department has been assisted in this operation by the Cedar Rapids Police Department, Linn County Sheriff’s Office, Linn County Emergency Management Agency, the Johnson County Dive Team, and The Salvation Army. There are also 35 volunteers assisting with the search efforts.


Man's body found in Indian Creek; believed to be missing kayaker


LINN COUNTY, Iowa (KCRG) - The Linn County Sheriff's Office located the body of a man along Indian Creek Thursday afternoon. LINN COUNTY, Iowa (KCRG) - The Linn County Sheriff's Office located the body of a man along Indian Creek Thursday afternoon. Officials said they believed it is the body of John Michael Conley, 34, who went missing after his kayak capsized in the creek Monday afternoon. 

The search for Conley has continued since Monday but crews had to stay out of Indian Creek due to dangerous conditions with high water.The body was found just north of Mount Vernon Road shortly after 3:30 p.m. Thursday less than a mile from where he was last seen.

Samantha Marie Conley, 30, was also in the kayak at the time it capsized. She was rescued from the water, treated, and released from Mercy Medical Center.

Authorities said testing will be conducted to confirm that the body is that of Conley.


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