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8 Dead, 3 Missing After High Winds Hit Washington, British Columbia

May 8, 1990

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) _ Authorities abandoned their search Monday for a boy lost in a boating accident when high winds battered Washington and British Columbia over the weekend. Boating and other accidents left at least eight dead and three missing.

Remnants of the winds reached 30 knots on Monday, forcing those looking for 5-year-old William Yoeman in the Columbia River to rely on a plane instead of a boat.

″We went back out today and had no luck,″ said Benton County Sheriff’s Capt. Dave Donovan. ″We’re going to call it quits because there’s not any place else to look. It does not appear there’s going to be a survivor.″

Also Monday, a Coast Guard helicopter spotted the body of Brian Bell, 22, in Puget Sound near the mouth of Discovery Bay, said Petty Officer Dennis Hall of the Coast Guard’s Seattle office. Later in the day, the Coast Guard recovered the body of Bell’s fishing companion, John Hoscouledge III, 34. The two had been in a 15-foot boat that sank in Saturday’s storm.

A search continued 10 miles east of Port Townsend for another man who had been fishing by himself, the Coast Guard said.

The missing boy abandoned a 20-foot pleasure boat with his mother and two other adults in the Columbia River below Kennewick, in south-central Washington, when the craft took on water late Saturday.

The mother - Christine Barajas, 26, - survived and was treated for hypothermia, shock and minor injuries.

The other two adults died, one in the river and the other, boat owner Larry Davis, when he was hit by a train after reaching shore and going to seek help. Davis appeared shaken and disoriented after emerging from the cold water, Ms. Barajas reported.

The gusty winds moved in suddenly Saturday as tens of thousands of people took to the water to enjoy warm, sunny weather for the Northwest’s traditional opening day of boating season. The gusts quickly reached 61 mph.

A gale warning, posted Saturday for the Strait of Juan de Fuca separating Washington from British Columbia, was reduced to a small craft advisory Sunday as winds diminished to 10 to 20 knots.

The bodies of two fishermen were found washed ashore near their 15-foot boat Sunday about five miles east of Port Angeles on the Strait of Juan de Fuca, said Coast Guard Lt. Jim Beckham.

A man was found dead on the Nisqually Flats between Tacoma and Olympia after searchers spotted his small aluminum boat tied to a tree near the mudflats, Beckham said.

In southwest British Columbia, one person was killed during a para-gliding lesson, and another was missing and presumed drowned after a 20-foot pleasure boat capsized Saturday at the mouth of the Fraser River south of Vancouver, said Richard Hendrickson, a Canadian Coast Guard officer.

An 8-year-old boy Bremerton boy died late Sunday when his canoe overturned on Lake Sutherland. But authorities later said his death was not storm- related.

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