Friends and Family of Lost Kayaker Keep up Search - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Friends and Family of Lost Kayaker Keep up Search

BENTON COUNTY, Wash. - Friends and family could be heard for miles on Sunday night, calling for 46-year-old Gary Dean Kirk.  Kirk's loved ones continue their search for the Kennewick man who went missing on the Yakima River on Saturday afternoon.  

Kirk and 20-year-old Cody Lee Hughes were kayaking on the Yakima River near the Horn Rapids Dam when their kayak overturned.  Kirk's friends, family, and co-workers have searched the banks of the river since the accident.  They say he's very athletic, and are clinging to hope the man is still alive.

Kirk's girlfriend said they kayaked on the river dozens of times, but right now the river is higher and swifter than she's ever seen it.  She said that is why her boyfriend may not have been wearing his lifejacket.

The Benton County Sheriff's Office said the search is still underway with watercraft, aircraft, and shore searches.