Colorado man still missing after being trapped underwater in Rogue River

JOSEPHINE COUNTY, Ore. – Josephine County Sheriff’s Office says it is still looking for a Colorado man after he was swept away by rapids in the Rogue River September 28.

According to the sheriff’s office, calls came in around 4:30 p.m. of a drowning at Wild Cat Rapids in the Rogue River.  A total of 11 people among 5 rafts were in that area of the river when one of the rafts got stuck about 5 miles below Grave Creek Boat Ramp.

The Sheriff’s Office says the victim, David Bartecchi, 46 from Colorado, slipped on a rock and fell into the water trying to free the raft.  He was then pushed into a large strainer and pinned to the side of the rock underwater.

Rescuers shut down the section of the river.  A Bureau of Land Management raft was hooked to a pulley system and pulled a rescue crew upriver.  Due to the swift water and slick rocks, rescuers say they were unable to access Bartecchi.

The Sheriff’s Office says search efforts were called off around 8:30 p.m. that day and began again Friday at 7 a.m.  On Friday, the search was called off after multiple hours of attempted rescue.

Bartecchi is still missing at this time.


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Taylar Ansures is a producer and reporter for NBC5 News. Taylar is from Redding, California and went to California State University, Chico. After graduating, she joined KRCR News Channel 7 in Redding as a morning producer. She moved to Southern Oregon in 2022 to be closer to family and became KTVL News 10’s digital producer. Taylar is currently finishing her Master's Degree in Professional Creative Writing through the University of Denver. In her free time, Taylar frequents independent bookstores and explores hiking trails across Southern Oregon and Northern California.
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