Missing kayaker identified as search is called off

The search for a missing kayaker off the coast of Bainbridge Island was called off Thursday, Bainbridge police said.

Bainbridge Deputy Police Chief Jeff Horn said the search for the missing man was halted after police divers were not able to find the kayaker.

The missing man was identified as Turner Jenkins, 31.

Jenkins went missing Friday, Jan. 18 near the close of a pre-dawn kayaking trip from the south end of Bainbridge to Blakely Rock.

Police said they were contacted shortly after 7 a.m. Jan. 18 after receiving a report of a kayaker who went missing after his kayak capsized.

Multiple units and departments responded to the emergency. In addition to the Bainbridge Island fire and police departments, the search was joined by the Coast Guard, Poulsbo Fire Department, North Kitsap Fire & Rescue, and the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office.

The Navy also sent a search-and-rescue helicopter from Whidbey Island Naval Air Station to look for the missing kayaker.

On Thursday, divers from Pierce County searched for Jenkins with no success.

“They thought they had something, but it turned out, it wasn’t,” Horn said.

Jenkins will now be listed as a missing person, he added.

The two kayakers were not island residents and were visiting Bainbridge from the Washington, D.C. area, Horn said.

One of the kayakers had relatives on Bainbridge and the pair were staying with them, he said, and one was thinking of moving to Washington.

The tragedy occurred as the pair were returning from Blakely Rock to the Country Club of Seattle’s dock near the southeastern end of Blakely Harbor, off Country Club Road, and their two-man kayak flipped over.

After the kayak flipped, one of the men swam to shore.

Neither man was wearing a life jacket, authorities said.

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