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May-16-2008 10:21printcomments

Police Believe Man Drowned While Trying to Rescue Another Person

Active search continues for a possible drowning victim on the Little North Fork River.

Little North Fork River
Little North Fork River
Photo courtesy: U.S. Forest Service

(LYONS, Ore.) - Marion County deputies and Stayton Fire District crews responded Thursday to the Salmon Falls park located on the Little North Fork River in Lyons, Oregon, on a report of a possible drowning victim.

Commander Jason Myers with the Marion County Sheriff's Office, says deputies and fire officials arrived on the scene around 4:45 PM and began a visual search of the river.

While conducting a search Deputies spoke with witnesses who indicated that an adult male subject in his early 20's had jumped into the water to assist a 19-year female who was having difficulties. The female subject was able to get out of the water but the male subject went under and did not resurface.

The adult male was last seen wearing Khaki shorts, black shoes, and no shirt.

Water Rescuers from the Jefferson Fire District and Linn County Dive Team were requested and responded to the location as well.

Myers says the water Rescuers assessed the water conditions in the location where the victim had been last seen, and determined the conditions to be to dangerous to deploy rescue swimmers or divers. An underwater camera was deployed but due to the water turbulence nothing discernible could be made out.

At about 5:15 PM, the Sheriff's Office received information that a body had been spotted floating down river on the Little North Fork River (closet street address 32800 block of North Fork Rd. SE.) This location is approximately 1.25 miles down river from the location where this incident was initially reported to have occurred.

A ground bank search was started from this location using Deputies, Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue personnel, Fire Officials, National Guard and the Channel 2 news helicopter.

A total of 17 ground searchers were involved with this search. The river bank search continued until nightfall.

The ground river bank search resumed this morning at 6:00 AM. There are currently a total of 20 Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue searchers involved in this search.

Investigators have identified the possible drowning victim. Family members have been advised of the situation and have confirmed that the victim is missing. The name of the victim is being withheld at this time as there has been no confirmation of the drowning.

Myers says it should be noted that the conditions of this river are extremely dangerous.

"The water is cold and fast moving. The water level has raised 6 inches since the search began last night. It's anticipated that the river will continue to rise with the hot temperature and snow melt. This search may be called off if the conditions become too dangerous for searches."

The Sheriff's Office would like to remind everyone of the importance of water safety. Rivers, especially this time of the year can be extremely dangerous. Cold fast moving water can present numerous hidden dangers. Please use caution and swim in designated swimming areas.

Any updates on this search will be released as they occur.

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maddt September 6, 2017 2:26 pm (Pacific time)

Does anyone have any follow up information on this incident? Was his body ever found?

IntheSticks May 17, 2008 4:47 pm (Pacific time)

So sad to's deadly this weekend, all the swimmin' holes are currently rapids. Typical summer flow is 50 cfs (cubic feet per second), this weekend, it's 2,500 cfs couple with 40'F water.........

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