A 61-year old California hunter fell into Canyon River just north of Brady Friday morning, and a body was found just downriver from the accident scene several hours later, according to Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office Chief Criminal Deputy Steve Shumate.
“It appears we found a body,” said Shumate at 3:40 p.m. Friday. “We haven’t made it to him yet, but it is a body face down just a bit downriver (from the initial accident scene).” Because the body was found in a particularly treacherous part of the river a positive identification has not yet been made. “We are hoping to make it across before nightfall, but we don’t want any more victims.”
The man was reportedly was with a party of hunters attempting to cross the river with a zip line. Some members had made it across; the California man did not.
“I’m being told it was a ¾-inch zip line, one with a chair you sit in and then pull yourself along,” said Shumate. “One individual was successful and was helping pull the others across with a rope that was attached to the chair.”
The victim reportedly slipped out of the chair and into the river. It appears the zip line was there before the day of the accident but Shumate did not know how long it had been there or who may have installed it.
Deputies, Fish & Wildlife officers and aid personnel responded to a call at 9:40 a.m. to an area about a mile and a half up Kelly Road from Boundary Road in Montesano, 15 miles north of Brady. Deputies also responded with a department vessel and were able to launch in the general incident area; however the river was so swollen with recent heavy rainfall it was unable to search beyond the launch area. Fish & Wildlife sent an aircraft to the scene, but weather conditions proved too bad for an air search.