Fishing trip turns tragic

A USCG helicopter searches the Bogachiel River on Friday evening for the missing fisherman. - Lonnie Archibald
A USCG helicopter searches the Bogachiel River on Friday evening for the missing fisherman.
— image credit: Lonnie Archibald

Last Friday at approximately 5 p.m., William Rusk of Sequim and a fishing partner ,Mark Roller, from Canada set out for some drift boat fishing on the Bogachiel River in Forks.

Shortly after launching their boat on the river, near the Bogachiel Fish Hatchery their boat overturned and both men fell into the river. Roller safely made it to shore and after throwing Rusk a life jacket called for help. Rusk held on to the life jacket and the boat as it drifted down the river.

The overturned boat later was found on the bottom of the Bogachiel River approximately two miles down river by commercial diver Jack Iotte. Local fishing guide Cody Wilson found a lifejacket on Saturday and authorities confirmed it was Rusk's.

Deputies from the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office, volunteers from the Clallam County Sheriff’s search and rescue team, La Push Police Department and the U.S. Coast Guard conducted a two-day search of the river and surrounding area without results.

Rusk was not located during this search. Rusk is described as being 5 foot 8 inches tall, 180 pounds, has grey hair and grey beard, and at the time he went in to the river he was wearing a grey checkered hat, tan jacket, blue jeans and green chest waders. Any persons with information on Rusk are asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at 360-417-2459. As of Tuesday morning Rusk remained missing.


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