Sacto 9-1-1
September 8, 2013
Family river outing turns tragic; body of man sought

By Kurt Chirbas

Sacramento Metro Fire shifted Sunday afternoon from a search and rescue mission to a recovery operation for a man who fell off a raft in the San Juan Rapids, on the lower American River in Rancho Cordova.

Crews were called to the rapids at around 11:20 a.m. Sunday for a water rescue. An adult male, wearing a life vest, was rafting with his family before he fell off the boat.

While the life vest resurfaced, the man never did.

The search for the missing man, which involved two boats, a helicopter and on-the-shore crews, lasted nearly two hours before it was suspended, said Sacramento Metro Fire Captain Michelle Eidam. Crews then began a recovery operation for the man's body. The search was still under way this afternoon.

Eidam said other family members in the raft did not suffer any injuries.

Later Sunday, Metro Fire crews were dispatched at around 2:10 p.m. for a rescue of three females who lost their raft and became stranded on a rock without a way to return to shore near the American River Parkway Bike Bridge.

A boat already on the waterway for the recovery operation of the missing man arrived to rescue the women at around 2:20 p.m. A second boat arrived shortly afterward. Their conditions are unknown.

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