Search called off for Bothell man, 29, believed drowned near Fall City

The King County Sheriff’s Office suspended its search Tuesday morning, May 24, for a man presumed to have drowned in the Snoqualmie River Sunday, May 22. Divers and rescue boats from the Sheriff’s Office, Fall City Fire Department, and the Mercer Island Police Department had been searching the river near the Plum River Access off Southeast Fish Hatchery Road since Sunday, when witnesses reported seeing the man get swept into the river.

According to the sheriff’s report, the man, 29, and his girlfriend, both from Bothell, had been throwing sticks into the river for their two dogs to fetch. One dog appeared to be caught in a whirlpool in the fast-moving river, and both people waded into help. They lost their footing and were plunged into the cold river. Witnesses called for help, and the woman was soon rescued and transported to Overlake Hospital, where she was listed in satisfactory condition Monday. The dog also made it out of the river on its own.

Rescue personnel searched for the man until 8 p.m. Sunday, and resumed the search before noon on Monday, May 23. Divers spent most of Monday searching back-eddies downstream of where the man was last seen, in debris-filled water with between two and five feet of visibility. The search was called off at 5 p.m. Monday.

Because of the water temperature and the swift current, the sheriff’s office said the man’s likelihood of survival was not high.

While the active search is suspended, the sheriff’s Marine One unit will float the river weekly in search of the victim, and the Guardian One helicopter will also do frequent fly-overs.

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