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Injured kayaker rescued from Skykomish River near Gold Bar
July 04, 2018

CLICK TO ENLARGE: File photo: In June 2017 Snohomish Co. Search & Rescue Dive Units scour the Skykomish River in Gold Bar for a missing man. Photo: Snohomish Co. Sheriff's office
Chronicle staff
Updated 7/6/18

Since this story was written the kayaker passed away. The King County Medical Examiner’s Office has confirmed the identity of the kayaker and the cause and manner of death. He was 27-year-old Dugan Flanders. Cause of the death is listed as drowning, manner of death is listed as accident.

Flanders was employed by Werner Paddles of Monroe. A posting Friday afternoon 7/6/18 on the company’s Facebook page said:

“It is with very deep sadness today that we announce the passing of one of our Werner family members — Dugan Flanders. On July 3rd, Dugan was kayaking on the Skykomish River with friends when he was involved in a accident. He passed away on the 4th of July. Dugan served our country in the US Marine Corps from May 2011 to July 2014.

Dugan joined us in May 2015 as a Customer Service Representative and quickly his personality, knowledge and love of paddling shined through. In January 2018 he was promoted to Southwest Sales Representative. With an infectious smile, a contagious laugh, a kind heart, he was always willing to help and to share his knowledge about anything especially paddlesports. He is deeply missed. Our hearts go out to the Flanders family.”

End update. Original story is below.

(GOLD BAR, WA.) –- Officials say an injured kayaker was rushed to EvergreenHealth Medical Center in critical condition Tuesday night after getting caught in rough water in the Skykomish River near Gold Bar.

The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office says other kayakers were able to reach the man and pull him out of the river after he was carried downstream.

The kayakers performed CPR on the man before Fire District 26 personnel arrived to take over. The 27-year old kayaker was not immediately identified
Man drowned in same area 12 days ago

On June 25th the Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office announced it had completed the examination and confirmed identification of a man who drowned June 23 in the Skykomish, also near Gold Bar as Bryan E. Rose, 54, of Sultan, WA. His body was recovered the same day.

The sad irony of Mr. Rose’s his death is this. Friday June 23 the day Mr. Rose died, the Snohomish County Sheriff’s office posted this on Facebook:

“On the first official weekend of summer, let's make sure you are prepared for the water. Checkout these WATER SAFETY TIPS! Always wear a life jacket…..”

It went on to list six other safety tips. Mr. Rose drowned in a popular fishing area on the Skykomish that day after the boat he was in overturned.

Reportedly, Mr. Rose was not wearing a life jacket.

Officials say Rose and a friend had gone out fishing in a boat in the early morning hours and were just a short distance downstream from Big Eddy, the popular weekend destination for families in the summer.

The boat flipped over after it got stuck up against a rock in the fast moving current and both men went into the frigid water. One man was able to swim to shore and safety. Mr. Rose was unable to do the same and drowned.

Second drowning in June in same area of the river

On June 6th of this month the Sky Valley Chronicle wrote this:

“Same river, second body in nine days. Same area of river, second body in six months. To say the mighty Skykomish River is a dangerous piece of business would be not be doing justice to the word dangerous.

If you end up in the Skykomish this time of year at the right spots, your odds of survival are iffy at best. And it does not matter how strong a swimmer you think you are.

The Snohomish County Sheriff's Office and Snohomish County Fire Districts 26 and 7 recovered the body of a man from the Skykomish, downstream from an area of the river called Big Eddy. The Big Eddy is a popular picnic area/swimming hole during the blazing hot days of summer. It’s located just up the road from Gold Bar and off State Route 2.

The sheriff’s office said the man is believed to have been a transient from the Gold Bar/Sultan area and was in his 30's.

At that time in early June the sheriff’s office said the man’s death was the fourth drowning incident in back country rivers near waterfalls this year. And it was the second drowning death on the Skykomish in nine days. On May 28th, a 24 year-old Monroe man went missing at Eagle Falls on the river and his body was recovered June 2.

On April 24th, a 30 year-old Bothell woman went into the water at Wallace Falls State Park, also in the same general area in the county, and her body was recovered the same day. On April 12th, a 22 year-old Monroe woman went into the water at Cedar Ponds, located in the woods near Sultan and her body was recovered on April 21st.


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