Missing Kayaker identified after body recovered from Rock Creek - KULR8.com | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Missing Kayaker identified after body recovered from Rock Creek

Posted: Updated:

The Carbon County Sheriff's Office has identified the kayaker pulled from Rock Creek Tuesday morning as Thomas Bajo, 68, of Scottsdale, Arizona.

Carbon County Sheriff Josh McQuillan says that Bajo was an accomplished kayaker with more than 20 years of experience. Bajo is in Montana visiting friends in Billings.

McQuillan says that Bajo and a friend were kayaking from Lions Camp to Rock Creek Resort, a journey they had completed only a few days before.

McQuillan explains that friend with Bajo reported that Bajo ran into trouble after capsizing and hitting his head on a rock Monday afternoon. Bajo was unconscious in the water. A second kayaker with Bajo managed to grab hold of the 68 year old... but was not able to pull him to shore. A spotter with the group called 9-1-1 around 2:15 p.m. Monday afternoon..

Sheriff McQuillan says that a group of kayakers on the river spotted Bajo's body around 7:15 Tuesday morning. It took Red Lodge Fire Rescue two hours to pull the body free of natural debris in the creek. McQuillan says that the body was submerged under the water.


The body of a missing kayaker was recovered from Rock Creek just after 9:00 a.m. Tuesday. According to Red Lodge Fire and Rescue the body was spotted by volunteer kayakers around 7:30 a.m.

KULR-8 reporter David Kaplan was present as rescue workers and volunteers used a rope to pull the body from a debris in the middle of the creek to shore.

Kayaker's involved in the rescue effort are visibly shaken and are declining to comment.  


Search efforts resumed Tuesday morning for a missing kayaker near Red Lodge. According to Red Lodge Fire and Rescue volunteer Kayaker's on the river may have spotted the missing man around 7:30 a.m.. Rescue teams are attempting to reach that location now. Stay with KULR-8 for updates as we get them.


It's the story of summer recreation turned nightmare as the search for one missing kayaker continues near Red Lodge. Carbon County Sheriff Josh McQuillan said one kayaker was reported missing Monday around 2:15 p.m. after falling out of his kayak into Rock Creek at Westminster just North of Rock Creek Resort.

Red Lodge Fire/Rescue, Search and Rescue, Carbon County Sheriff's Office, Red Lodge Police, several volunteer kayakers, and Two Bear Air from Kalispell searched the area for several hours Monday before darkness forced the search party to take a break until daylight Tuesday, when dogs will be added to the search.

KULR-8 is actively working to bring any new developments to you as we get them and bring them to you on air and online.

  • MontanaMore>>

  • 1 Killed in 2 vehicle crash on I-15

    1 Killed in 2 vehicle crash on I-15

    Monday, May 21 2018 7:41 PM EDT2018-05-21 23:41:41 GMT

    Around 11:30 am on Sunday, scanner traffic indicated a rollover crash had occurred in the southbound lane of Interstate 15 near Emerson Junction.

    Around 11:30 am on Sunday, scanner traffic indicated a rollover crash had occurred in the southbound lane of Interstate 15 near Emerson Junction.

  • VA facilities in Billings and Missoula to be named for Montana veterans

    VA facilities in Billings and Missoula to be named for Montana veterans

    Monday, May 21 2018 6:53 PM EDT2018-05-21 22:53:43 GMT

    This legislation recognizes the commitment to duty and personal courage of three Montanans by naming VA facilities in Missoula and Billings in their honor.

    This legislation recognizes the commitment to duty and personal courage of three Montanans by naming VA facilities in Missoula and Billings in their honor.

  • Floods impact construction

    Floods impact construction

    Monday, May 21 2018 6:38 PM EDT2018-05-21 22:38:01 GMT
    HELENA, Mont.-  Flooding has caused trouble at some construction sites in the rapidly growing Capital City. Our Bliss Zechman spoke with one construction group that says when flooding comes pouring in like it has over the last several weeks here in Helena, often companies have to halt operations for up to a month. Product Development Manager for the Sussex Construction group in Helena, Soren Koford, says that like all foundations, the house is reliant on the concrete to transf...
    HELENA, Mont.-  Flooding has caused trouble at some construction sites in the rapidly growing Capital City. Our Bliss Zechman spoke with one construction group that says when flooding comes pouring in like it has over the last several weeks here in Helena, often companies have to halt operations for up to a month. Product Development Manager for the Sussex Construction group in Helena, Soren Koford, says that like all foundations, the house is reliant on the concrete to transf...
  • Most Popular