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Bodies recovered in the Salish Sea near San Juan Island were the missing Canadian kayakers

The two bodies found in the Salish Sea  April 22 and 23 have been identified as missing kayakers Daniel MacAlpine, 36, and Nicolas West, 26, according to the RCMP. Saturday, April 20, 2024 the two Canadian men left D'arcy Island in a two-person kayak  at 2:15 pm headed to Island View Beach. That was the last time they were seen. Both were wearing life jackets.

(L to R) Daniel MacAlpine, 36, and Nicolas West, 26 set out in a two-person kayak at 2:15 pm April 20 for D'Arcy Island.

The Canadian Coast Guard began searching Saturday. Around 11:30 am Sunday, April 21, the Canadian Coast Guard located the kayak off the southwest corner of Henry Island but there was no sign of the kayakers. Henry Island is part of the U.S San Juan Islands.

The Canadian Coast Guard asked San Juan County Sheriff's Office if they could assist by sending a boat out to Henry Island area to help with the search. Personnel from the San Juan County Sheriff's office, using the sheriff's boat and drone searched the areas along the west side of Henry island around to the southside in open bay where the kayak was recovered.

The  drone was deployed and searched around Stuart Island as well. Sheriff's personnel also searched around Speiden island and were unable to locate any signs of the missing kayakers.

On April 22 around 3 pm the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office received a tip that a body was floating in the water against the rocks in Granny's Cove on the southwest side of San Juan Island. Deputies responded on land to the location and spotted the body in the water. The Sheriff’s boat was launched and the body was recovered from the water and turned over to the Coroner’s Office. Granny's Cove is located in  San Juan Island National Historic Park's American Camp on the west side of San Juan Island.

On April 23, around 6:30 am, the San Juan County Sheriff’s Office received a call regarding a body floating in the water in “Middle Channel”, south of Cattle Point at the southern most point of San Juan Island and west of Iceberg Point, which is west of the southern point of Lopez Island. The Sheriff’s boat was launched and the body was recovered from the water and turned over to the Coroner’s Office. 

Wednesday, April 24, Sidney/North Saanich RCMP said Washington state authorities confirmed the deceased to be MacAlpine and West. 

"Sidney/North Saanich RCMP would like to thank all the agencies that were involved in this search and subsequent recovery efforts," Staff Sgt. Wayne Conley said in a statement. "Our thoughts are with the families at this time."

According to Wikipedia, D'Arcy Island is an 83-hectare island in Haro Strait, south of Sidney Island and east of the Saanich Peninsula (Vancouver Island). It is the southernmost of the Gulf Islands and is included in its entirety in the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve. It was used as a leper colony for Chinese immigrants from 1891 to 1924. In 1961 it became a marine park.

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