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Humboldt County Sheriff’s Deputies found two men alive after the pair spent the night stranded on the Klamath River. At about 10:00 last night the Sheriff’s Office received a call from Karen O’Rourke, owner of the Klamath Riverside RV Park. Ms. O’Rourke reported that brothers Larry and Stanley Dake (ages 79 and 60, respectively) had failed to return from day trip fishing on the river. Ms. O’Rourke and others had located one brother’s vehicle at a boat launch area about one mile down river from Orleans. They then found the other brother’s vehicle and boat trailer at a pull-out location several miles away. When they couldn’t find the men they notified the Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff’s Deputies arrived at the river at about 10:30 p.m. but were unable to find the men. It was determined that due to the rugged terrain, the water conditions, and darkness, it would be unsafe to continue the search until daylight this morning.
At about 6:30 this morning, Sheriff’s Deputies were back at the river looking for the brothers. Helicopters from the California Highway Patrol had been called from Redding to assist. Deputy Todd Fulton was standing on Highway 96, above Red Cap Gorge, several hundred feet above the river. Through his binoculars, he spotted Stanley Dake below. CHP helicopter personnel were able to fly down to the river and hoist Stanley up to the highway. They then returned to the river and located Larry Dake about a quarter mile from where Stanley had been found.
Both men were wet and cold and had minor abrasions. Larry was transported to a local hospital for evaluation.
They reported that they had been drift fishing when they entered Red Cap Gorge and their boat overturned. The boat was not recovered.