Clark Co. Sheriff's Office
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News Release
Man Drowns While Kayaking in Canyon Creek - 11/16/20

On Sunday, November 15th at 5:09 PM, north Clark and Cowlitz County emergency personnel were alerted to an incident involving a kayaker on Canyon Creek.  The 911 caller reported he and two friends had been white water kayaking in Canyon Creek where it flows into the Lewis River (near the Yale/Merwin Hydro dam) when one of the friends had gotten trapped under water.  The kayaker was removed from the water and his friends began efforts to resuscitate him.  While one friend stayed behind to continue lifesaving efforts, the other paddled back to where they had parked their vehicles, then drove to the Chelatchie Store to call for help.

Responders from Cowlitz-Skamania Fire District 7 (FD7), Clark County Fire District 10, North Country EMS (NCEMS), Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue (CCFR) and the Clark County Sheriff's Office converged on Lake Merwin in an effort to get to the two remaining persons, who were located in a remote area accessible only by boat.

The victim and his friend were located on Canyon Creek by a rescue boat piloted by FD7 personnel.  The CCSO Marine Unit arrived a short time later with NCEMS personnel and rescue swimmers from CCFR on the CCSO Patrol Boat Crawford.  FD7 personnel continued with resuscitation efforts which were not successful and the 20 year-old male was pronounced dead at the scene.  Both the body of the deceased and the remaining kayaker were transported back to Cresap Bay boat launch, where the Clark County Medical Examiner recovered the body.

The deceased kayaker was identified as Blaine M. Davis, age 20, of Sunriver, Oregon.  Davis was wearing a lifejacket and gear appropriate for whitewater kayaking.  He was also equipped with an emergency locater beacon, which was activated and assisted in locating he and his friend.


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