Two bodies recovered after kayakers went missing

U.S. authorities find bodies

UDPATE 6:55 p.m.

Two bodies have been recovered by American authorities, but it has not been determined if they are the kayakers missing since Saturday after setting out from D’Arcy Island toward Island View Beach.

San Juan County Sheriff Eric Peter said the first body was reported about 3 p.m. Monday, and was found floating in the water against the rocks in Grandma’s Cove, on the west side of San Juan Island.

“Deputies responded on land to the location and spotted the body,” he said.

Peter said the sheriff department’s boat was launched and recovered a male’s body, and turned it over to the coroner’s office.

A second report about 6:30 a.m. Tuesday was of a body floating in Middle Channel, south of Cattle Point at the southernmost point of San Juan Island and west of Iceberg Point.

The sheriff’s boat was again deployed and recovered a male’s body that was turned over to the coroner.

“The identities of the persons recovered has yet to be determined and out of respect for the families, the sheriff’s office will not speculate as to whether these are the missing Canadian kayakers,” said Peter.

Brothers Daniel MacAlpine, 36, who works in a Victoria autobody shop, and Nicolas West, 26, left D’Arcy Island in a two-person fibreglass kayak at 2:15 p.m. Saturday, said RCMP.

Their empty kayak was found Sunday on Henry Island, about five kilometres northeast of D’Arcy Island in American waters.

South Island Sea Kayaking Association vice-president B.J. Porter, who led a Sunday trip from Island View Beach to D’Arcy Island and back, said the crossing takes about an hour “even for experienced paddlers.”

Local waters are “so deceptive” and problems can arise quickly, Porter said.

Paddlers in the group made the return trip to Island View on Sunday in winds up to 15 knots, which presented some difficulty, Porter said.

She said she had looked at the forecast for Saturday as well as Sunday, and noted that Saturday’s wind in the area got up to 17 to 27 knots.

Since the wind was from the southwest, it is understandable that the men’s kayak was found in the United States, Porter said.

Police, search and rescue crews, and the Canadian Coast Guard have been engaged in the search since the two were reported missing on Saturday.

ORIGINAL 10 a.m.

Police in British Columbia say United States authorities searching for a pair of missing kayakers have found a body in the San Juan Islands of Washington state.

RCMP spokesman Cpl. James Grandy says searchers south of the border have not yet identified the person as one of the missing kayakers.

Grandy says only one body has been located in the search.

The Sidney/North Saanich RCMP has said two men went missing Saturday while kayaking between D'Arcy Island and Island View Beach, just north of Victoria.

They said 36-year-old Daniel MacAlpine and twenty-six-year-old Nicholas West were in a teal blue fibreglass, two-person, kayak.

The search for the pair had expanded south into U.S. waters on Monday.

The Canadian Press

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