MARBLEMOUNT, Wash. — The search for a 10-year-old boy who was separated from his father while kayaking on the Skagit River has been suspended.
Sage Adams was last seen on July 7 after he and his 45-year-old father launched up the Skagit River near milepost 119 with the plans to kayak down to the community of Marblemount.
The father tipped his kayak around 6 p.m. and went into the river, according to the Skagit County Sheriff's Office. Sage continued floating south down the river toward Marblemount.
“The father made it to shore but didn’t find his son right away, he had to camp out,” said Undersheriff Chad Clark, with the Skagit County Sheriff’s Office.
The father spent the night in the woods and couldn’t call for help until Wednesday morning.
The Skagit County Sheriff’s Office started searching for Sage immediately. They called in search and rescue teams, U.S. Border Patrol, the U.S. Navy, and the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office. Border Patrol and the Navy sent helicopters to aid in the search.
The father’s kayak was found, and 500 yards down river Sage’s kayak was also found. Both kayaks were found north of the Marblemount bridge, but Sage was not located, officials said.
“There were some footprints in the area. We sent the dogs from there, they were on scent, a human scent that they searched last night until about dark, and then didn’t locate the boy,” said Clark.
Using helicopters, drones, search dogs, and divers, they searched until 2 a.m. and started again at 6 a.m. Thursday. Around 10:15 a.m. Thursday morning, search and rescue members found Sage's life jacket.
“We’re really hopeful this was going to be a land search for him and now that we’ve found the life jacket in the water, we’re still doing the land search, but it’s also now going to be a river search,” said Clark. “We’re just, we’re not going to give up. We’re just hoping he’s hunkered down somewhere and is just fine, but we don’t know that.”
Sage’s family told the Skagit County Sheriff’s Office that he has a lot of experience with the outdoors, and if he made it ashore, he would have the skills to camp out and wait for rescue
After more than 2,000 hours and a week of searching, Clark said the search for Sage was suspended on Tuesday.
The Sheriff's Office said it will have boats in the upper portions of the river during the summer months, and “will also respond to any possible sightings or follow up information pertaining to Sage.”
“It wasn't an easy decision for us to make as closure for the family and all that searched is also very important,” the Skagit County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post Wednesday. “Please keep Sage's family in your thoughts.”