LAKE CRESCENT — Olympic National Park has scaled back a search of Lake Crescent for Dr. Margaret Baker.
Baker, 60, of Port Angeles, was reported as missing April 24. Her submerged red kayak was found April 25 on a rocky shoreline along U.S. Highway 101 about a mile east of Barnes Point.
An active search for Baker transitioned Tuesday to a “limited continuous search,” Olympic National Park Deputy Superintendent Lee Taylor said.
Park Superintendent Sarah Creachbaum made the decision to scale back operations.
“We don’t use the term suspended,” Taylor said in a Tuesday interview.
“We use the term that we’re transitioning to a limited continuous search, and what that essentially means is that we’re not going to actively have people out on the lake every day as we’ve been doing so far.”
While performing other duties, park rangers will be “keeping an eye out for any new evidence or information,” Taylor said.
“If something comes to light, then we would begin searching again,” Taylor said.
Weather permitting, a drone will fly over the lake today to look into the water from above, Taylor said in a Tuesday email.
A search of the lake and lakeshore had continued daily since Baker’s disappearance.
The search included the National Park Service, Clallam County Sheriff’s Office, state Department of Fish and Wildlife, Kitsap County search and rescue and dive teams and search dogs.
“We’re still hoping to connect with one of our partner agencies and bring in a remotely operated vehicle that can do scans of the deeper part of the lake,” Taylor said in a telephone interview.
Divers must stay within about 130 feet of the surface because of underwater pressure. Lake Crescent has steep walls and a maximum depth of 624 feet.
“Divers can get down to a certain level that doesn’t get to the really deep sections of the lake,” Taylor said.
“So this technology can assist us with being able to search that part.”
Baker was last seen at about 4 p.m. April 24 near her SUV, which was parked along East Beach Road. Her cellphone and wallet were found inside the vehicle.
Baker is an orthopedic surgeon who plays French horn for the Port Angeles Symphony.
Visitors who uncover information about the case are asked to phone the park’s investigative tip line at 888-653-0009.
Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at [email protected].