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Contact: Barb Maynes, 360-565-3005
A search for an overdue fisherman in the Sol Duc Valley of Olympic National Park concluded happily today at 12:45 p.m. when Curt Kilgore was found safe and well along the North Fork Sol Duc River.
Kilgore, a lieutenant with East Jefferson Fire - Rescue, went fishing yesterday afternoon with two friends along the North Fork Sol Duc River in the park’s northern area, about 30 miles west of Port Angeles. The section of river they were fishing is remote and accessible only by trail.
The three began their fishing/hiking trip at the North Fork Sol Duc trailhead, about a mile south of Salmon Cascades along the Sol Duc Road. They planned to fish and walk downstream along the river about three miles, to the point where it meets the Sol Duc Road. After walking down river for about a mile, Kilgore and his fishing partners separated, with Kilgore continuing downstream while the other two returned to the trailhead. When Kilgore failed to meet his two companions yesterday evening, a hasty search was begun until conditions became too dark to continue.
The search began again early this morning, with many of Kilgore's co-workers working on their own time to assist park staff with the search. Kilgore was located at approximately 12:45 p.m. today, just shy of his intended destination along the Sol Duc Road.
Nine Olympic National Park searchers participated, along with about 15 members of East Jefferson Fire - Rescue and Jefferson County Search and Rescue.
Chief Michael Mingee of East Jefferson County Fire - Rescue expressed gratitude for Olympic National Park's search efforts, saying, "We had every confidence that the park staff would conduct a thorough and professional search, and they are to be commended."
"We're very pleased that Lieutenant Kilgore was found safe and sound, and grateful to the many members of his fire company who came immediately to assist," said Olympic National Park Superintendent Bill Laitner.