Mark Sundin, a respected local fire chief, was killed while kayaking with his son on Oregon’s Willamette River. The incident occurred on July 15th in an area containing Class III rapids. After a passing motorist reported an empty kayak floating downstream, rescue squads turned out. They found the 48-year-old Sundin floating facedown.
They also located his 10 year-old son along the riverbank. The boy reported seeing his father capsize and swim. According to the Salem, Oregon Register-Guard, Chief Sundin was not wearing a helmet. This unfortunate lapse in safety precautions has led to speculation that a blow to the head might have left him stunned and unable to self-rescue.