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News / Clark County News

La Center man dies in Sunday boating accident on the North Fork of the Lewis River

By Jessica Prokop, Columbian Local News Editor
Published: January 30, 2023, 3:04pm

A 65-year-old La Center man was killed after the small boat he was in capsized Sunday on the North Fork of the Lewis River.

Authorities recovered Robert Stevenson’s body Monday afternoon about a half-mile downriver from where the boat was thought to have overturned, according to an update from the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.

The sheriff’s office and Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue responded shortly after noon Sunday to an incident near Mile 13 of the North Fork of the Lewis River.

A man called 911 to report he found a boat capsized on the river. He told dispatchers he found a man in the water and helped him to the shore.

The rescued man, identified as 65-year-old Randy Greer of Woodland, reported that Stevenson was in the boat with him when it capsized and was still missing. Neither of the men on the boat were wearing life jackets, the sheriff’s office said Sunday.

The small, aluminum boat reportedly struck a pole in the water, causing it to take on water before capsizing, the sheriff’s office said.

Greer was evaluated by medical personnel and released at the scene.

Officials searched the river by boat for hours. Both banks of the river were searched, and a drone was used to assist from above. Stevenson was not located when the search was suspended at 4 p.m. Sunday.

Search efforts were resumed Monday by Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue and the sheriff’s office’s marine and unmanned aircraft systems units. Stevenson was located in the water at about 12:30 p.m., and his body was brought to shore, the sheriff’s office said.

An investigator with the Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office responded to the scene.

The sheriff’s office urges all boaters to wear a personal floatation device approved by the U.S. Coast Guard.