More than a week ago a couple members of the Bellingham mountain community went missing in the middle of the night. They were sailing, something went wrong, the boat capsized and the two are presumed to have drowned. Sean Mansfield and Gunther Frank have yet to be found.
K2 Staff photographer and Bellingham local Mike Yoshida, hit me up last week, with some info and words about Donkey and Gunter, here’s what he wrote…
“There has been a tragic accident up here in Bellingham. Our good friends Donkey and Gunther passed when their sailboat capsized, and apparently they failed to make it to shore. 4 others did make it to shore, but unfortunately Donk and Gunther have not turned up yet. It’s a pretty emotional time right now, because everyone knew those guys, and I’m sure you know Donk was an amazing snowboarder. I know Donk had extended friends all throughout the world, and I just want people to know what happened, and how much of a deep northwest influence he had, and will always have in all of us.
I’ve known Donkey for about 12 years now. When I first moved to the Mt. Baker area, he was by far, the most talented rider I have ever seen. Donkey had a distinct style to his snowboarding, and everyday life. He was a pure snowboarder, who never wanted to deal with the professional side of it, even though he had the skills to be one of the best. His energy level and enthusiasm towards life was through the roof.
I think for a lot of people in everyday society, they tend to gravitate towards people with common interests, and limit themselves to certain cliques, or groups of friends. Donkey was the type of person who had no boundaries with these sorts of cliques. He was friends with everyone, the skaters, the snowboarders, the college kids, the hicks, the partiers, the yuppies, and of course, everyone at Mt. Baker.
Donkey was such a unique and amazing individual on so many different levels, it’s really hard to describe in words…. He had a huge influence on the Bellingham community, and will always be remembered for his tremendous amount of talent, and individuality. Donkey is a true legend, and I’ll never forget the good times he brought to us all.”
Here’s some links with more information about Donkey and Gunther.
A story on the Frequency: The Snowboarder’s Journal website.
A story about Gunther Frank
A story from The Bellingham Herald
Our thoughts are with all the family and friends of Donkey and Gunther.
Sean “Donkey” Mansfield