Search for lost kayaker at Audra State Park called off until water levels drop

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BARBOUR COUNTY, W. Va. (WDTV)— UPDATE 02/10/2020 @ 2:24 p.m.

The search and rescue mission for a missing kayaker at Audra State Park was temporarily halted just after 1 p.m. Monday.

West Virginia Division of Natural Resources officials said they believe they know where the body of the woman is.

"We know that she is in a certain spot down [the Middle Fork River]. Because of the way that the water has risen, and we are predicting it to rise, we are waiting for the rain to stop," said Matthew Rodriguez, the investigating officer from the Department of Natural Resources.

Officials believe the body was likely caught underwater by a boulder.

The search will continue when the water level drops back down.

"We will continue as the weather permits. Once the water levels lower, then we will get back out there and see if we can get her," said Rodriguez.

The victim has still not been officially identified, but some in her kayak group of ten were trained in water recovery.

"In the ten that we know of, there was a few swift water rescue. They were certified in that. They did everything that they could to get her out of there," said Rodriguez.

According to the Belington Fire Department, the woman fell into the river after a kayaking accident Sunday.


UPDATE: 02/09/2020

According to a press release from the West Virginia Natural Resources Police, West Virginia State Police, and the Barbour County Sheriff's Department fire and rescue crews responded to a report of a kayaker who was swept under a rock and never surfaced on a remote section of the Middle Fork River in Barbour County.

The incident happened around 1:00 p.m. on February 9th.

Crews made it to the scene but couldn't locate the kayaker.

Darkness, the remote location, and water levels made recovery efforts difficult.

The search will resume tomorrow with Natural Resources Police conducting the investigation.


ORIGINAL STORY: 02/09/2020

According to Barbour County 9-1-1 multiple crews are responding to an incident at Audra State Park in Buckhannon.

According to Belington fire department one woman fell into the river after a kayaking accident.

She was with a group of 10 people.

Crews have not yet located her.

5 News has a reporter at the scene. Stick with us for any updates.