Canoe capsizes on Kenai; 1 man missing

Posted: Thursday, June 28, 2007

A man is still missing after a canoe capsized on the Kenai River near Naptowne rapids Tuesday. Emergency officials searched the river from Mile 39 to the mouth with no luck so far.

Beth Ipsen, information officer with the Alaska State Troopers, said the missing person’s name is Stephen Boyer, 57, from Fair Play, Calif.

“He didn’t make it back to shore,” she said. “We haven’t found him yet.”

Another man, Tad Fumakoshi, also from California, came ashore at Mile 17 of Funny River Road.

Lesley Quelland, a shift captain with Central Emergency Services in Soldotna, said both CES boats were deployed to search for Boyer. Rescuers were able to locate the canoe and two personal floatation devices that were in the canoe — but not on either of the occupants.

“We searched until 8:30 last night,” Quelland said, adding that Civil Air Patrol support, a helicopter from the Division of Forestry and another boat from Alaska State Parks also aided in the search.

“We were tied up with the call for over five hours. He is still missing,” she said.

According to an Alaska State Troopers press release, the search was taken up again at 8 a.m. Wednesday.

Ipsen said Fumakoshi, the man who swam to shore, wasn’t injured, and that though they hadn’t found Boyer as of Wednesday afternoon, they’re still considering this a missing person case.

“(This is) one of those things where we take it day by day,” Ipsen said. “So far, that’s the information we have.”

Jessica Cejnar can be reached at

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