Kennewick Man Identified as Missing Columbia River BoaterPosted: Updated:
KENNEWICK, Wash-- The Benton County Sheriff's Office confirmed the missing boater is 74 year old Ed Gilbert, and his wife who was also on the boat is Pat Gilbert, she turned 72 today.
The Gilbert's boat was anchored in the Columbia River near the cable bridge and was hit on Saturday by 51 year old Michael Nethercutt, who is facing possible charges of homocide and assualt by water craft.
The 30 ft. boat was anchored in a wide open stretch of water when it was hit by Nethercutt's smaller boat at full speed.
Michael Nethercutt and his wife were taken to Kennewick General Hospital. Pat Gilbert was taken to Kadlec Medical Center and has since been released. Ed Gilbert is still missing.
Since Saturday, Columbia Basin Divers have been searching the water looking for his body. Divers found a small piece of bone and tissue that the coroner believes is related to this incident.
"He wouldn't want me to waste one second being down thinking I could have done anything because I couldn't have done anything," said Monty Gilbert, son of Ed Gilbert.
Gilbert's son says it was irresponsiblity turned into tragedy. He had left his father's boat five minutes before the accident to pick up his grandaughter. Close friends in a boat next to Gilbert's watched the accident happen.
"I will miss him forever and when I sit at the table that we sat in each morning I will always reserve a chair for him," said Rod Mineke, friend and member of the Clover Island Yacht Club.
Gilbert has been a member of the Clover Island Yacht Club since 1993. Each morning he would meet with yacht club members for coffee and talk about the latest news.
He opened Hubby's Pizza Kitchen on Columbia Drive in 1976 and always has posters honoring soldiers serving time in Iraq at Hubby's.