Body of missing Ariel man found in Columbia River

Mark A. Bunker Jr. had been missing after falling out of his kayak Sunday

The body of an Ariel man was recovered from the Columbia River Tuesday. Mark A. Bunker Jr., 35, has been missing since he fell out of his kayak on the Columbia River Sunday.  

An Ariel man was still missing Monday morning after he fell out of his kayak on the Columbia River Sunday. The missing kayaker was identified as 35-year-old Mark A. Bunker Jr.

At 6:37 p.m. Sunday (Aug. 30), Cowlitz County 9-1-1 received a report that a kayaker on the Columbia River fell out of his kayak and did not resurface.  The location was at Martin’s Bar, near Woodland.  Deputies with the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office responded to the area with a boat and diver and also used a drone to search for Bunker.  

The Clark County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Coast Guard sent additional boats to assist in the search, as well as a Coast Guard helicopter.  Other fishermen in the area also assisted in the search. 

Deputies contacted family members and witnesses at the scene where the subject had been fishing from the bank.  The subject was using the kayak to take his fishing line out about 300 yards from shore and was seen falling out of the kayak as he dropped his line.  He was not wearing a life jacket.  

Authorities resumed the search for Bunker Monday.   The recovery was made the same evening,reportedly at a depth of 42 feet, approximately 300 feet offshore. 

Information provided by Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office.

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