Kayaker dies in Snoqualmie River near North Bend

A kayaking trip turned deadly for a group of friends in North Bend Saturday afternoon. A man in his 20's died after an accident on the Snoqualmie River near Ernie's Grove and North Fork Road.

A rescue mission to find the kayaker turned into a recovery mission by about 3 p.m.

The King County Sheriff’s Office said a group of six kayakers launched into the water together, and at about 1:30 p.m., one of the kayakers, a man in his mid 20's, hit something in the water.

“The other members of his party actually saw him get into trouble, turn over in his kayak, his life jacket come off of him and he floated down the river and they pursued him,” said Sgt. Mark Rorvik, with the Sheriff’s Office.

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He says the area where the crash happened is dangerous.

“We have done recoveries up in this area before. In fact we had one last summer pretty much the same area. It's very steep to try and get in by land,” Rorvik said.

“It's cold outside, the water is very cold,” Rorvik said.

The Sheriff's office says Chopper 7's pilot - the first on scene from the air - helped first responders locate the kayaks.

“Our pilot did talk to the Chopper 7 pilot and got some information from the Chopper 7 pilot that helped him figure out what his plan was,” Rorvik said.

But when crews found the group of kayakers, the victim had already died.

“Very sad,” Rorvik said. “He came out to have fun and something happened.”

Local firefighters with Gold Bar Firefighter's Association Saturday identified the person killed as longtime volunteer Firefighter/EMT and rescue technician Sam Grafton.

It is with disbelief and heavy hearts that we learned our longtime volunteer Firefighter/EMT and rescue technician Sam...

Posted by Gold Bar Firefighter's Association on Saturday, February 10, 2018