PORT ANGELES — Coast Guard helicopter crews from Port Angeles and Astoria, along with local authorities, continue to search Tuesday for a kayaker reported missing along the Strait of Juan de Fuca on Monday night.
The kayaker, 31-year old Matthew Hamilton of Port Angeles, left Freshwater Bay County Park at 7 p.m. Monday on an expected three-hour outing to Ediz Hook in Port Angeles, Petty Officer 1st Class Cynthia Oldham said. It was reported that Hamilton kayaked this route often and was familiar with the area.
He is reported to be wearing a black and white jacket, blue jeans and boots. He was not wearing a life jacket.
Clallam County officials conducted cell phone forensics on Hamilton’s phone earlier Tuesday and received two pings in the vicinity of lower Elwha River.
Members of Hamilton’s family drove to the area, where they discovered Hamilton’s green kayak, his bag clipped to his kayak and his cell phone. There was no sign of Hamilton or his paddle.
His family confirmed that Hamilton’s vehicle is currently parked at the Freshwater Bay boat ramp.
When Hamilton didn’t arrive as expected, Hamilton’s father notified Port Angeles police, who relayed the situation to watchstanders at Coast Guard Puget Sound at about 2:40 a.m.
A Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter crew and a 45-foot Response Boat – Medium crew from Coast Guard Station Port Angeles launched to search for Hamilton.
Oldham said a second rescue helicopter hsd been deployed to assist the search for Hamilton on Tuesday.
“A Coast Guard MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Sector Columbia River (Astoria, Ore.) has joined the search,” Oldham said.
Responders from the Lower Elwha Police Department have also deployed a full rescue team.
Anyone with additional information regarding the whereabouts of Hamilton are requested to contact Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound watchstanders at 206-217-6001.