Crews search for missing person in Colorado River
RIFLE, Colorado – Garfield County Search and Rescue crews were searching for a male reported to be in the Colorado River near Rifle Thursday afternoon.
According to the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, a call came in at approximately 3:05 p.m. of a person in the river.
Four young adults were swimming in the area, while swinging on a rope swing, the male victim impacted the river’s surface on his side.
Witnesses believe the victim had the wind knocked out of him when he landed in the water. Bystanders tried to rescue him and bring him to shore, but he began to panic, making it virtually impossible to hold on to him. None of the swimmers were wearing personal flotation devices.
First responders, including law enforcement and firefighting personnel, quickly lined the riverbanks from the spot of the accident downriver to the West Rifle area to visually search for the young man. Garfield County Search and Rescue responded both on shore and in the water via two Zodiac watercraft to search the calm pool sections and downriver currents.
At 5:34 p.m. this evening, the rescue mission evolved into a recovery operation. Crews searched until 8 p.m. when the operation was suspended for the night. The team will resume activities early tomorrow morning, and a dive team from Summit County is expected to arrive at 8 a.m.
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