Park rangers recovered the body of a 74-year-old man in a Mount Rainier National Park river Wednesday, after he went missing during an overnight hike, according to a statement from the park.
Craig Goodwin, of Black Diamond, King County, left for his hike Tuesday afternoon, the Thursday statement said. When he didn’t return, his family reported him missing.
On Wednesday morning, search teams found Goodwin’s car at the Paul Peak trailhead, and focused on looking near Golden Lakes, Sunset Park and the South Mowich River trail crossing.
Just before 6 p.m. Wednesday, searchers in a park helicopter spotted Goodwin’s body on a gravel bank downstream of the South Mowich River, the statement said.
“River crossings can be extremely hazardous this time of the year,” said park deputy superintendent Tracy Swartout in the statement. “The park’s cold, swift-flowing waters require a high level of caution, even for hikers with extensive experience, knowledge and skills.”
After finding Goodwin’s body, Mount Rainier National Park officials reminded hikers to use extreme caution and scout the area — by looking for waterfalls or log jams — before crossing streams.
“It’s a good idea to unfasten the belt of your pack so that you can separate from your pack should you fall into the water, and carry a sturdy stick to maintain two points of contact with the ground at all times,” officials said in the statement. “Always listen for the sounds of large rocks and boulders getting moved around in the river, as this means the water is strong and fast.”
For more information about hiking safety in Mount Rainier National Park, park officials recommend visiting their website at www.nps.gov/mora.