Body of missing kayaker found near Hat Island identified

EVERETT, Wash. — The body of a kayaker who disappeared off Jetty Island in north Everett and was recovered near Hat Island has been identified.

The Snohomish County Medical Examiner identified the kayaker as 37-year-old James K. Lesemann of Everett.

Lesemann’s cause of death was hypothermia and drowning, the medical examiner stated in a tweet. The mode was accidental.

A search for the man began after he was reported to be in distress Tuesday afternoon.

Tuesday’s weather was stormy with strong winds and heavy rain. The National Weather Service had issued a special marine warning for Puget Sound at 12:02 p.m. until 12:45 p.m. for steep waves, possible water spouts and high winds.

The Everett Fire Department tweeted at 2 p.m. that an empty kayak was found.

A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter and vessel, together with boats from the Everett fire and police departments, helped in the search.

Shortly before 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Everett police said the search was suspended because daylight was fading and conditions were dangerous for search teams. However, Coast Guard crews continued to search overnight.

The search resumed Wednesday morning, with a U.S. Navy helicopter rescue crew from Whidbey Island joining the effort.

It was that crew that recovered the body.