Kayaking Couple Encounter Turbulent Water; Drowned Woman Identified

Update from Shasta County Coroner’s Office: VICTIM: Shelbi Danielle Arno (39 years old)

SYNOPSIS: On 12/09/12 it was reported a kayaker drowned in Clear Creek. The body was recovered Monday, 12/10/12. The decedent was identified as Shelbi Arno. The next of kin has been notified and the Coroner’s Office Forensic Pathologist will conduct the examination on 12/12/12.

LOCATION: Clear Creek in the area of Mule Town and Potosi Rd.

SYNOPSIS: On Sunday, 12-09-2012, shortly after 2 P.M. the Shasta County Sheriff’s Department received a call from a kayaker stating his friend was submerged under water and unconscious. The reporting party, a male in his late fifties, was unable to reach his friend due to their location in the water and went to a residence to use the phone to call for assistance. The reporting party was calling from a private residence in the area of Mule Town Rd. and Potosi Rd. in regards to the incident on Clear Creek. The Shasta county Sheriff’s Department, members from Cal-Fire, the California Highway Patrol (air operations) and emergency/rescue personnel arrived on scene to render assistance.

The reporting male had stated he and his friend, a female in her mid 30’s, were kayaking down Clear Creek starting from the area of the N.E.E.D camp below Whiskeytown Dam. As they were traveling down stream, in separate kayaks, they came upon some turbulent water. The male exited the water to take pictures of the female as she traveled down stream through the turbulent water. The female’s kayak became wedged in the water with her submerged under the water. The male was able to get to her location but was unable to free her from the kayak. He was able to free the kayak from where it was wedged and in doing so his friend was freed from her kayak and both she and the kayak floated down stream at which point he lost sight of her. The male exited the water and went to a residence to call for assistance.

The California Highway Patrol helicopter flew over the area and down stream from the location of occurrence to look for the female but was unable to locate her. They did provide some locations of interest that need to be further evaluated and searched. The Sheriff’s Department Dive team was called to the area but due to the time of day, the remote access and terrain were unable to plan and perform any type of search prior to sunset. The search will be further planned out and performed tomorrow, Monday, 12-10-2012, starting in the early morning hours.

Both kayakers were experienced and were wearing all the proper gear and safety equipment at the time of the incident. Per the male, the female had prior experience kayaking this same stretch of water in the past. The names of the involved are not being released at this time pending further investigation and search. There is no investigation of intentional acts or negligence as it is believed the incident was accidental in nature.

From Shasta County press release

-from press release
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