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Two kayakers died and another was critically injured after capsizing in heavy winds and waves northwest of Seattle, officials said.
The victims were returning to shore after spending Saturday with a church group in Dungeness Bay where they faced wind gusts of up to 35 miles per hour, according to the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office.
“In the afternoon, you get heavy winds off the ocean,” Sgt. Randy Pieper told NBC News. “It blows pretty good.” The group also encountered three-foot high waves, according to the Coast Guard.
After the vessels flipped over, four members of the group made it to shore and contacted authorities about those who were missing, Pieper said.
Coast Guard and Navy crews responded after receiving a distress call about 2:30 p.m. local time (5:30 p.m. ET), according to the Coast Guard.
Jacob M. Austin, 52, Mandi Walkley, 39, and William D. Kelley, 50, all of Lacey, Washington, were transported to local hospitals. Austin was pronounced dead Saturday night while Walkley passed away Sunday morning, according to officials. Kelley was listed in critical condition early Monday.
Authorities were still waiting for autopsy results but hypothermia is believed to be the cause of death, Pieper added.