Saturday, May 15, 2021
May 15, 2021

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Oregon man, 20, dies while kayaking on Canyon Creek near Yale Dam

By , Columbian Assistant Metro Editor

An Oregon man was killed Sunday while white-water kayaking on Canyon Creek where it flows into the Lewis River.

North Clark County and Cowlitz County emergency personnel were called at 5:09 p.m. The 911 caller reported that he and two friends were white-water kayaking near Yale Dam when one friend became trapped under water, according to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.

The caller said his friend had been removed from the water. One friend stayed behind to try to resuscitate him while the other paddled back to where they had parked their vehicles, then drove to the Chelatchie Prairie General Store to call for help, a sheriff’s office news release states.

First responders from the sheriff’s office, Cowlitz-Skamania Fire District 7, Clark County Fire District 10, North Country EMS and Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue met at Lake Merwin to try to rescue the caller’s friends, “who were located in a remote area accessible only by boat,” the sheriff’s office said.

The victim and friend were found on Canyon Creek by a rescue boat piloted by Fire District 7. The sheriff’s office marine unit arrived shortly after with North Country EMS and rescue swimmers from Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue.

Fire District 7 personnel continued resuscitation efforts on the victim but were unsuccessful. The victim, identified as 20-year-old Blaine M. Davis of Sunriver, Ore., was pronounced dead at the scene.

Davis and the friend were taken to the Cresap Bay boat launch, where the Clark County medical examiner recovered the body, according to the sheriff’s office.

“Davis was wearing a life jacket and gear appropriate for white-water kayaking. He was also equipped with an emergency locator beacon, which was activated and assisted in locating he and his friend,” the sheriff’s office said.