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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