Missing fisherman's body recovered from Bogachiel River

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FORKS — The body of a fisherman missing since last Friday has been found in the Bogachiel River, not far from where his drift boat was found earlier this week.

Clallam County sheriff's deputies and Quileute tribal fish and wildlife enforcement officers recovered the body of William Rusk, 79, of Sequim, the Sheriff's Office said.

A Forks fishing guide spotted the body in about 6 feet of water shortly after 10 a.m. today, the Clallam County Sheriff's Office reported.

A Quileute jet boat was launched from the Bogachiel River's Wilson Road ramp to make the recovery.

Rusk, a retired engineer who recently moved to Sequim from California, was last seen clinging to the drift boat taking on water last Friday.

A sport fisherman found a life jacket confirmed as belonging to Rusk on Saturday, and the boat was retrieved by divers Sunday, according to the Clallam County Sheriff's Office.

The Sheriff's Office called off the ground search late Saturday, and a river search by divers ended Sunday evening, said Ron Cameron, chief criminal deputy.

“The river is running very swift, very high and very cold,” Cameron said earlier this week.

Rusk's fishing partner, Mark Roler, 54, of Vancouver, B.C., called 9-1-1 at about 5 p.m. last Friday to report that their unpowered drift boat was taking on water and being pushed down the swollen river.

The two men put the boat in at the Bogachiel Way boat launch, just above the Bogachiel River's confluence with the Calawah River.

Roler was able to swim to shore, but Rusk stayed with the boat and was taken downstream with the current while clinging to the life vest, sheriff's deputies were told.

The boat later was found submerged and capsized about 1 miles downriver from the launch.

The search also included the Coast Guard and Clallam County search and rescue teams.

Last modified: March 27. 2014 6:52PM
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