Sheriff Brian Burnett reports a 36 year old male drowned in Lake Chelan on Saturday afternoon (04/13/2019) when an inflatable kayak he and another subject were in flipped over. Both subjects were ejected into the cold water. The incident occurred north of the dock area at Lake Chelan State Park.
At 2:49pm, RIVERCOM 911 dispatch began receiving calls reference the two subjects in the water. One of the males had not surfaced. Several boaters who were participating in a fishing derby in the area began actively looking for the missing subject. State Park Rangers, Sheriff’s Deputies (with a marine vessel), Chelan County Fire District #7 (with rescue swimmers) and Lake Chelan EMS responded to assist in the search.
It was determined that Bonventure Gitau 36 years of age of Tacoma, WA had not been wearing a personal floatation device when the two-person inflatable kayak he was in with his friend capsized. Gitau was seen momentarily in the water by witnesses but then disappeared under the surface. His friend, Jackson Njaru 31years if age of Puyallup, WA, made it to a nearby boat and was pulled from the water in fair condition.
Just prior to 4:00pm, Gitau’s body was spotted on the bottom of the lake at a depth of about 30 feet. A diver from Fire District #7 made the recovery. The body was released to the Chelan County Coroner’s Office.
The Sheriff’s Office would like to remind everyone planning to recreate in lakes and rivers this season, to please utilize personal floatation devices when in any type of vessel.