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Body found in Lake Washington identified as lost kayaker

A body that washed up on shore Wednesday, March 23, in the Newport Shores area has been identified as Christopher Rominski, 46, of Bellevue, who went missing in February when he was kayaking.

The King County Medical Examiner on Friday said Rominski died from drowning.

Rominski was reported missing on Feb. 12 by his family when he failed to return from a kayaking trip at Enatai Beach Park Saturday. Police found his vehicle at the park.

The search was first launched after a Bellevue resident saw Rominski roll his kayak near the Newport Shores boat launch and struggle to stay above water. She went inside her home to call 911.

“When she came back the kayak was unattended, and he was nowhere to be seen,” Burns said.

Crews led by the Mercer Island Marine Patrol searched in poor visibility, which complicated the search, said Mercer Island Cmdr. Leslie Burns. U.S. Coast Guard officials entered the search early on, scouring the lake overnight in a helicopter. Rominski’s family identified the kayak seen in the water as his.

Even in the early stages of the search, crews were looking for a body, not a survivor.

“Nobody is going to last in this water more than a couple hours,” Burns said.

The search for the missing kayaker was suspended three days after he disappeared.

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