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Search continues for kayaker missing at Flathead Lake

By Chris Ferreira, KCFW Reporter, cferreira@kcfw.com
Published On: Aug 06 2014 09:05:50 AM MDT
Updated On: Jul 21 2014 11:04:08 PM MDT
KALISPELL, Mont. -

Officials in Lake County are pursuing a new lead in the search for a missing Polson man who disappeared on Saturday.

Members of the Lake County Sheriff's Office were alerted that a group of boaters spotted a kayak just under the water's surface.

"A kayak of the same color, type and make and model was found on Saturday at around 3 o'clock," said Lake County Public Information Officer Karen Sargeant.

The missing man has been identified as 43-year-old Robert W. McDonald. He is a physician at St. Joseph Medical Center in Polson, specializing in infectious diseases.

He left the Bear Harbor Condominiums on Saturday around 11 a.m. and was reported missing around 11 p.m..

Officials have taken the kayak in question to a family friend for identification, but they were unable to positively identify it as McDonald's, although it is very similar.

Flathead County joined the search on Monday, bringing with them a type of specialized sonar that is towed behind the boat, giving them a better picture of the lake's bottom. The search is now in recovery mode, searching the bottom for any signs of McDonald.

The area where the kayak was found is around 15 to 20 feet deep and searchers know it could take some time before the lake is thoroughly searched.

Crews will continue to search until it gets dark, and if nothing is found the search will continue in the morning.