Kayaker Drowns in Rough Waters Off Sonoma County Coast

A holiday wilderness outing turned tragic when a kayaker died in rough waters Wednesday afternoon in Sonoma County's Jenner area.

Sgt. Cecile Focha of the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office said Joseph Patrick Woods, 63, of San Rafael was paddling with a friend off Goat Rock Beach when both of their kayaks capsized.

Focha says Woods' companion made it back to the beach, where he told rescue crews he had seen his friend swimming toward shore and then lost sight of him. Rescue crews found the missing kayaker in the ocean a little more than an hour later.

The Coast Guard pulled Woods from the water and he was pronounced dead at a nearby Coast Guard station.

Focha says the death was likely accidental but that an investigation is ongoing.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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