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Kayaker reported missing on Lake Whatcom

Search and rescue teams on Lake Whatcom were looking for an apparent missing kayaker Sunday, Aug. 30.

A 25-year-old Mount Vernon man who had been visiting friends went kayaking alone about 5:30 a.m. Sunday and did not return, said Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo. Rain was falling at the time, and winds had reduced to 7 mph in the wake of Saturday’s damaging windstorm. The temperature was 57.

Sunrise was 6:23 a.m. Sunday.

“We have search and rescue operations under way right now,” Elfo said Sunday afternoon. He said sheriff’s deputies, Whatcom County Search and Rescue and South Whatcom Fire Authority’s water rescue team were searching by boat, assisted by aircraft.

Searchers found a blue life jacket that the missing man may have been wearing, along with some beer in cans, on the shoreline of Agate Bay, but located no sign of the man. South Whatcom Fire teams discontinued their rescue operation in early afternoon, but other agencies continued their search efforts, said SWFA Chief Dave Ralston.

Elfo said the missing man was among several residents in the 2500 block of North Shore Drive who had been partying all night and discussed going kayaking in the predawn hours. The address is on the northwest side of the lake, across from the Geneva area of Bellingham.

“The others decided that it was too cold, so he went out by himself and did not return,” Elfo said.

Reach Robert Mittendorf at 360-756-2805 or robert.mittendorf@bellinghamherald.com. Mittendorf is a volunteer firefighter with South Whatcom Fire Authority.

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