UPDATE: Search suspended for missing fisherman, 79, from Sequim
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Lonnie Archibald/for Peninsula Daily News
A drift boat makes its way down the Bogachiel River with three of the searchers seeking the missing 79-year-old fisherman.

By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News

FORKS — The search by ground and river teams has been suspended for a 79-year-old Sequim man missing since his fishing boat overturned Friday in the Bogachiel River.

Sgt. Brian King with the Clallam County Sheriff's Office West End detachment said a sport fisherman found a life jacket Saturday, which was confirmed as belonging to the missing man.

“At some point he was separated from his live preserver,” King said.

The identity of the missing man has not been released at the request of his family, he said.

The Sequim resident went missing Friday 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.

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

The boat later was found submerged and capsized about 1 miles downriver from the launch.

While the ground search on the banks of the river has been called off, King said the Sheriff's Office will be in close contact with the many fishermen who are on the Bogachiel this weekend.

A local diver will enter the river today in an attempt to retrieve the boat and to search several of the Bogachiel River's deeper pools, King said.

“It's very murky. The visibility is poor,” he said of the river.

Friday and Saturday's search included sport fishermen, the U.S. Coast Guard, and Clallam County search and rescue teams.

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This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at arwyn.rice@peninsuladailynews.com.


Earlier report:

By Jeremy Schwartz
Peninsula Daily News

FORKS — Clallam County 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 23. 2014 12:46PM
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