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The search for a French National, that began on Friday when a damaged kayak and backpacks were found washed ashore five miles north of Swishak Lagoon near Cape Douglas in Shelikof Straits, was suspended after two days of searching by the U.S. Coast Guard helicopters in the air and by water searches by Katmai Park Rangers turned up no further clues.
A preliminary investigation found that the kayak and backpacks belonged to Francois Guenot of France. Inside was found Guenot’s ID, food, maps and his personal journals. The last entry in his journal was dated June 15th.
Last known contact with Guenot is believed to have been on May 26th, when U.S. Fish and Game officers came upon Guenot when he was trespassing in a cabin near Amakdedori Creek and illegally using a net to catch fish in the creek.
Guenot had planned on exploring areas of Shelikof Straits with the kayak that he arranged to have dropped of at the creek along with other equipment prior to leaving Kokhanok on May 9th. He had hiked to Amakdedori Creek from Kokhanok. Prior to leaving Kokhanok, Guenot had initially told an acquaintance there that he intended to go to Perryville on the Alaska Peninsula. It is unknown if that in fact was his destination however.
Guenot’s kayak and belongings were found over thirty miles distant near Cape Douglas. Cape Douglas is the end of Cook Inlet to the north and the beginning of Shelikof Straits to the southwest. From Cape Douglas, it is over 300 more miles to the community of Perryville to the southwest.
Guenot, who told canadian newspapers that he was a ski instructor came to the North American continent in 2011 and appeared in Alaska last fall. He had said he wanted to trek across the continent and eventually end up on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia. Guenot is known to be an avid outdoorsman and was in excellent health at last report.
The USCG said that the search was suspended on Saturday and will not resume unless further information is uncovered.