Coast Guard, locals search for missing kayaker near Freshwater Bay, WA

Air Station Port Angeles MH-65 Dolphin helicopter file photo by Chief Petty Officer David Mosley

Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles MH-65 Dolphin helicopter file photo by Chief Petty Officer David Mosley

PORT ANGELES, Wash. — The Coast Guard and local authorities are searching near Freshwater Bay Tuesday for a missing Kayaker who failed to return Wednesday night from his planned trip from Freshwater Bay to Ediz Hook.

Missing is Matthew Hamilton, 31. He is reported to be wearing a black and white jacket, blue jeans and boots. He was not wearing a life jacket.

Hamilton began his trip at about 7 p.m. Monday to kayak from Freshwater Bay County Park to Ediz Hook, where his father was planning to pick him up from what was expected to be a three-hour trip. It was reported that Hamilton kayaked this route often and was familiar with the area.

When Hamilton didn’t arrive as expected, Hamilton’s father notified local police, who relayed the situation to watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound at about 2:40 a.m.

A Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew and a 45-foot Response Boat–Medium crew from Coast Guard Station Port Angeles launched to search for Hamilton. Responders from Elwha Police Department have also deployed a full rescue team.

Clallam County officials conducted cell phone forensics on Hamilton’s phone and received two pings in the vicinity of lower Elwah River. Members of Hamilton’s family drove to the area, where they discovered Hamilton’s green kayak, his bag clipped to his kayak and his cell phone. There was no sign of Hamilton or his paddle. His family confirmed that Hamilton’s vehicle is currently parked at the Freshwater Bay boat ramp.

Anyone with additional information regarding the whereabouts of Hamilton are requested to contact Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound watchstanders at 206-217-6001.


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