Search continues for possible missing kayaker

Search continues for possible missing kayaker
MERCER ISLAND, Wash. - Crews searched again Sunday for a possible missing kayaker on Lake Washington after spending six hours battling the elements the previous night without results.

But Sunday's calmer weather didn't produce results, either - and poor visibility was a factor underwater. Searchers quit at about 6 p.m. and said they plan to resume the search on Monday morning, weather permitting.

Crews are focusing on a channel between Bellevue and Mercer Island - but said there is no longer any hope of rescuing anyone alive.

"We believe it's a recovery (operation)," said Cmdr. Leslie Burns of the Mercer Island police. "We were treating it as a rescue (Saturday) night for quite a while, but with the wind conditions, the air temperature, the length of time, the darkness, at this point, we're having to treat it as a recovery."

Meanwhile, police say someone has filed a missing persons report for a Bellevue resident.

A fire department there told KOMO News that police apparently found a car in a parking lot near where the kayak was spotted.

Police ran the plates, called the house and spoke to parents who said their son often likes to kayak without a life jacket.

Authorities wouldn't say much about the person who was reported missing - other than the fact that it's Bellevue resident, an adult male who police say they believe is connected to this case.

Authorities admit it is hard to imagine that anyone would want to launch a kayak on Lake Washington on a day as wet and windy as it was on Saturday.

But police are taking a witness at their word who reported seeing a kayaker go under water along Lake Washington - and never resurface.

"The (witness) watched the kayaker as the boat actually flipped, and after it flipped they were unable to locate - visually - the kayaker," Burns said.

Burns said the search is like "looking for a needle in a haystack."

Police do know where the kayak was originally spotted - somewhere between Bellevue and Mercer Island, near the Newport Yacht Club.

A kayak, adrift, was eventually found, along with a pieces of the boat and the back of the seat.

But despite help from a Coast Guard helicopter and sonar equipment, crews still haven't found a missing person.