39-year-old kayaker who went missing on Tomales Bay found dead

39-year-old kayaker who went missing on Tomales Bay found dead
Photo of Amy Graff

A 39-year-old man who was reported missing after not returning from kayaking on Tomales Bay was found dead on Wednesday.

A 39-year-old man who was reported missing after not returning from kayaking on Tomales Bay was found dead on Wednesday.

Photo By Yalonda M. James/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

A 39-year-old California man who was reported missing after not returning from kayaking on Tomales Bay in Marin County was found dead  Wednesday, officials said.

Clinton Yoshio Koga, of Brentwood, was fishing with friends on the day of his disappearance, Jan. 27, a news release from the Marin County Sheriff’s Office said.

At 6:10 p.m., he launched a kayak from the Lawson’s Landing campground in the town of Dillon Beach onto Tomales Bay to retrieve a crabbing cage, his friends reportedly told the sheriff’s office.

“It’s a protected cove for the most part,” U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Kolton Krag told SFGATE on the phone. “I do know that it was windy that day.”

Less than 20 minutes later, a friend of Koga’s told the sheriff’s office that he couldn’t see the kayak on the bay, the sheriff’s office said. The friend reported him missing to the sheriff’s office, while other friends searched the bay for him. 

The Marin County Fire Department, the Marin County dive team, the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office helicopter and the U.S. Coast Guard joined the sheriff’s office in an “intensive search” and never found Koga.

On Wednesday, members of California Recovery Divers, a volunteer aquatic search group, began surveying Tomales Bay early in the morning and found Koga at 4:15 p.m., 100 yards from the shore of the campground. Paramedics confirmed that he was dead. 

Krag cautioned that anyone recreating on the bay should exercise caution. “Look at the weather, wear your life jackets, make sure people know where you’re going.” He said that while the waters of Tomales Bay may appear calm, there are powerful currents that can be dangerous.  

The cause of death is under investigation. “A forensic postmortem examination with routine toxicology testing is being completed Friday February 3, 2023,” the sheriff’s office said in the news release.

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