Crews Battle Harsh Weather in Search for Missing Kayaker

Robert W. McDonald, a physician from Polson, went missing Saturday afternoon

By Beacon Staff

Search crews continue to scour Flathead Lake looking for a missing kayaker who disappeared last weekend.

Robert W. McDonald, a physician from Polson, remains missing after he went kayaking from Bear Harbor Condominiums Saturday afternoon without a lifejacket, according to authorities. 

Search crews with cadaver dogs resumed the search early Thursday, but are faced with an oncoming storm that could present severe conditions, as the National Weather Service is forecasting extreme wind and waves across the lake. Harsh weather has hampered efforts consistently this week, according to authorities.

“The lake hasn’t cooperated up to this point,” said Karen Sargeant with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

A kayak that could be McDonald’s was recovered from the west shore of the lake. It was found upside down and largely submerged in water, Sargeant said.

“We’re still concentrating the search in that general area,” she said.

Local search crews have been using a specialized sonar unit to check areas underwater, as well as divers and search dogs.

“Nobody’s giving up,” Sargeant said.

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