Hawthorne's body found in Salmon River

July 16, 2003 11:00 pm

By Kent Gray

Triplicate staff writer

The body of physician Wayne Hawthorne, missing since a kayaking accident last week, has been found in the turbulent water of the Salmon River.

Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Susan Gravenkamp said the conditions were still too dangerous to retrieve the body.

"Officers said they were able to locate the body of Wayne Hawthorne in the pool under the rock" where the doctor was last seen on July 9, Gravenkamp said. "The bad news is the water level has gone up a foot and they were unable to retrieve the body."

Gravenkamp said the local Karuk Tribe donated a camera during the search effort, and two divers used the camera attached to the end of a pole to look under the rock. Until now, the area has been inaccessible to rescue divers.

Many of Hawthorne's personal belongings and his kayak were retrieved earlier this week, family members said.

Gravenkamp said volunteers will now have to wait for the water level to drop again before the body can be removed.

Hawthorne, 48, a prominent Crescent City physician, was reported missing last week after his kayak overturned in the river and became lodged beneath the rock. Although his son and another boater tried to retrieve Hawthorne, they eventually lost sight of him.

An earlier plan to use dynamite to blast away a portion of the rock was abandoned because of dangerous conditions.

A trust fund has been set up at Six Rivers National Bank as the Wayne Hawthorne Memorial Scholarship Fund. A second fund is being set up for the benefit of Hawthorne's children.