UPDATE — 'Still no luck' as search teams seek man missing after boat overturns in Bogachiel River

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

FORKS — Clallam County search-and-rescue teams searched Saturday for a 79-year-old Sequim man last seen in the Bogachiel River after the fishing boat he was in with another man began taking on water.

Sgt. Brian King with the Clallam County Sheriff's Office West End detachment said searcher teams started looking for the unidentified man Friday night after his fishing partner, Mark Roller, 54, of Vancouver, B.C., called 9-1-1 at about 5 p.m. to report that the unpowered drift boat was taking on water and being pushed down the river.

The boat, which the two men put in at the Bogachiel Way boat launch, later was found submerged and capsized about 1 miles downriver from the launch, King said.

Search-and-rescue ground teams and volunteers had searched the northern banks of the Bogachiel River between the boat launch and where the boat was found by about 3 p.m. Saturday and found no trace of the man, King said.

“So far, still no luck,” King said, adding that teams planned to continue looking along the river into Saturday night.

King said deputies will decide whether to continue searching today and whether or not expand the search.

Roller told deputies that he and the missing man had just put in at the Bogachiel Way boat launch when the strong river currents pushed the boat up against vegetation on the bank, King said, causing it to take on water.

Roller was able to swim to shore. The Sequim man stayed with the boat and was taken downstream with the current while clinging to a life vest, King said.

A Coast Guard helicopter helped in the search Friday and Saturday, King said.

Volunteers also have been aided search efforts, King added.

“We appreciate all the help of the sport fishermen; there are a number of sport fishermen on the Bogachiel River keeping connected with sheriff's deputies,” King said.

“[They] certainly are a force multiplier for us.”

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Reporter Jeremy Schwartz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5074, or at jschwartz@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: March 22. 2014 8:05PM
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