Fatal Kayaking Accident on Wenatchee River

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kayaking accident

UPDATE: 08/30/17 12PM

The identity of the individual involved in the fatal kayaking incident on Tuesday afternoon has now been authorized for release according to the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office.

Michael R. Lawrance of Hollywood, Florida was located at the bottom of the Wenatchee River near Plain by a swift water team member.

Lawrance had been seen in the water attempting to catch up to the kayak shortly before he disappeared. The exact cause of the accident is still under investigation. The Chelan County Coroner’s Office has made contact with Lawrance’s next of kin out of state.

08/29/17:

Chelan County Sheriff Brian Burnett reports a kayaking accident on the Wenatchee River Tuesday near Plain has claimed the life of a 61-year-old man.

The initial 911 call to RIVERCOM dispatch was made at 1:23pm from a witness on the east bank of the river who had noticed an empty kayak floating in the middle of the river with a male subject in the water behind it.

The witness stated the subject appeared to be trying to catch up to the kayak as they floated down the river. The subject in the water was described as wearing shorts with no personal flotation vest.

After making the 911 call, the witness said she could no longer see the person in the river, and the kayak was still floating downriver unoccupied.

Personnel from Chelan County Fire District #9, Cascade EMS, and the Sheriff’s Office responded to the area in an attempt to locate the missing subject. The kayak was located and secured.

At 2:39pm a member of the swift water rescue response team using a float board observed the missing male at the bottom of the river in approximately five feet of water. The subject was removed from the river to the west shoreline and CPR was initiated. He did not survive the incident.

It was confirmed that the subject was not wearing a personal flotation device. At this time, it is not known how the subject was initially separated from the kayak.

Friends of the subject eventually contacted Sheriff’s deputies at the scene when they realized he was well overdue floating from the old bridge on Chapel Road in Plain to a property along Meachum Road which is about 2 miles downstream.

The name of the victim is being withheld at this time as the Sheriff’s Office and Chelan County Coroner attempt to locate next of kin out of state.

 

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Steve Hair
Steve Hair is a 40-year veteran broadcast journalist who comes to NCW LIFE TV after a long career in radio. Steve and his wife Lynette and their three sons moved to the Wenatchee Valley from Central California in 1992. Steve served as News Director for KPQ News where he covered a multitude of stories of importance to North Central Washington, including two of Washington State’s largest wildfires. During his radio career Steve has received many awards from organizations such as the Associated Press, (Sacramento and Seattle Bureaus) The Washington State Farm Bureau, and the California Medical Association. Steve is a sports addict. Time off usually finds him sprawled out on the couch watching the Seahawks, Mariners or anything that prevents him from doing house chores.