Skip to Content

Sunriver man drowns in SW Washington kayaking accident

VANCOUVER, Ore. (KTVZ) – Despite lifesaving efforts, a 20-year-old Sunriver man became trapped underwater and drowned on Sunday while kayaking on Canyon Creek in southwest Washington, Clark County sheriff’s deputies said.

Clark and Cowlitz county emergency personnel got word just after 5 p.m. Sunday that a caller to 911 said he and two friends were whitewater kayaking in Canyon Creek where it flows into the Lewis River, near the Yale-Merin hydroelectric dam, when one of the friends became trapped underwater.

The kayaker, later identified as Blaine M. Davis of Sunriver, was removed from the water, deputies sand, and his friends began efforts to resuscitate him. While one stayed behind to continue those efforts, the other paddled back to where they had parked and drove to the Chelatchie Store to call for help.

First responders from the Cowlitz-Skamania Fire District 7, Clark County Fire District 10, North Country EMS, Clark-Cowlitz Fire & Rescue, and the Clark County Sheriff’s Office went to Lake Merwin and began efforts to get to the kayakers, who were in a remote area only reachable by boat, deputies said.

Davis and his friend were found on Canyon Creek by a rescue boat piloted by fire personnel. The sheriff’s office Marine Unit arrived a short time later with medics and rescue swimmers on the patrol boat Crawford.

Fire district medics continued the resuscitation efforts, but were not successful, and Davis was pronounced dead at the scene. He and the other kayaker were brought to Cresap Bay boat launch, where the Clark County medical examiner recovered the body.

Deputies said Davis was wearing a lifejacket and appropriate gear for whitewater kayaking. He also was equipped with an emergency locator beacon, which was activated and help in locating Davis and his friend.

Article Topic Follows: Top Stories

Jump to comments ↓

KTVZ news sources


KTVZ NewsChannel 21 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content