1 paddler dies, 2nd missing after overturning in floodwaters

May 3, 2019

WALNUT SHADE, Mo. (AP) — Authorities have found the body of one paddler whose kayak overturned in a flooded Missouri creek and are looking for a second missing paddler.

Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Jason Pace says they were among three men who began paddling Wednesday afternoon on Bull Creek as it flooded after heavy rain. They had been on the water about 45 minutes when they were swept over a low-water bridge and were caught in what is called a hydraulic, which creates a washing-machine effect that is hard to escape.

One kayaker was able to get free and was swept downstream. Pace says he then climbed a steep bank and sought help.

Pace says the body of 23-year-old Alex Ekern was found Thursday, and the search continued Friday for the other paddler.