Kayaker missing, presumed dead after boat overturns on Lake Crescent
Jun 14, 2023, 7:12 AM | Updated: 9:18 am
(Photo from KIRO 7)
Park officials say a man drowned while kayaking with his fiancee on Lake Crescent in Olympic National Park
37-year-old Travis Valenti of New York was kayaking with his fiancée the afternoon of Friday, June 9, when his boat began taking on water.
Valenti tried to keep paddling but had to abandon the boat and start swimming.
Lake Crescent is a deep and very cold body of water with surface water temperatures near 50 degrees this time of year.
“Sudden immersion into cold water will impact a person’s breathing and, over time, their ability to move extremities,” The national park service said.
When his fiancée tried to help, her kayak also overturned, and she went into the lake as well. She was able to swim back to shore, but Valenti struggled and did not.
The nearby Log Cabin Resort had staff take a motorboat and search the area where Valenti was last seen, but he was not found.
Bystanders and the victim’s fiancée helped rangers and members of Clallam County Fire District 2 define the area he was last seen, which was estimated to be more than a quarter-mile offshore and about 400 to 500 feet deep. Rangers searched the lake for more than two hours, but Valenti was not found.
Neither kayaker was wearing a life jacket, according to a news release from the park.
The next day, another search of the area and the shoreline were completed, but Valenti was not found.