News

Search suspended for missing kayaker | UPDATE

A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter provides aerial support into the night during the search for a reported missing kayaker in the East Channel of Lake Washington off Mercer Island on Saturday. - Chad Coleman/Bellevue Reporter
A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter provides aerial support into the night during the search for a reported missing kayaker in the East Channel of Lake Washington off Mercer Island on Saturday.
— image credit: Chad Coleman/Bellevue Reporter

The search for a missing kayaker on Lake Washington was suspended Tuesday morning.

Bellevue police believe the man, 46, is Bellevue resident Christopher Rominski, who was reported missing by his family when he failed to return from a kayaking trip at Enatai Beach Park Saturday. Police found his vehicle at the park.

Crews led by the Mercer Island Marine Patrol have been searching since Saturday, with more crews investigating Monday. Visibility has been poor for much of the weekend, complicating the search, said Mercer Island Cmdr. Leslie Burns.

Even in the early stages of the search, crews were looking for a body, not a survivor.

"Nobody is going to last in this water more than a couple hours," she said. "It was a recovery mission a long time ago."

Burns said the water sits at a cool 45-degree temperature currently.

Further complicating the search is a dirty lake floor that makes recognizing a body, or any subject of a search, all the more difficult.

The search was first launched after a Bellevue resident saw Rominski roll his kayak near the Newport Shores boat launch and struggle to stay above water. She went inside her home to call 911.

"When she came back the kayak was unattended, and he was nowhere to be seen, and we've been searching for him ever since," Burns said.

Rominski's family identified the kayak seen in the water as his.

U.S. Coast Guard officials entered the search early on, scouring the lake over night in a helicopter. Crews continued the search over the weekend.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the Nov 28
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates