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Update on Search for Three Individuals Missing in Colorado River

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Date: April 30, 2009
Contact: Shannan Marcak, 928-638-7958
Contact: Maureen Oltrogge, 928-638-7779

 

Grand Canyon, AZ. – The National Park Service (NPS), with the assistance of the Department of Public Safety, searched today for three individuals last seen earlier today in the Colorado River near Phantom Ranch.

At approximately 8:45 a.m., the Grand Canyon Regional Communications Center received two separate reports of three individuals who had jumped into the river near the Black Bridge across from Boat Beach.  They were last seen being swept down river below Boat Beach, which is near Phantom Ranch.  Currents are swift in this area; and water temperatures are 52 degrees Fahrenheit.  It was reported by other members of their party that none of these individuals were wearing personal floatation devices.

During today’s search efforts, the National Park Service and the Department of Public Safety conducted extensive air operations from Pipe Creek to Crystal Rapid, a distance of approximately ten river miles.  In addition, a NPS zodiac was flown in and used by rescue rangers to search the area from Boat Beach to Horn Creek.  Search operations have been scaled back for the night in order to ensure searcher and craft safety. 

As part of today’s efforts, NPS investigators interviewed a group that was hiking with the missing individuals prior to the incident.  Following the interviews, those individuals were flown to the South Rim by the NPS late this afternoon.

Zodiac search operations will continue tomorrow with an extensive search from Boat Beach to Hermit Rapid (river mile 95).  A search dog and its handler will also be inserted in the early morning, when conditions are most effective for the dog.  The dog team will search from Boat Beach to Silver Bridge then across the river and downriver towards Pipe Creek.  A ranger will also be conducting a visual search on the River Trail above the river.

Friday’s weather forecast is calling for mostly sunny skies, with a high near 94 and a low of 65.  There is a 20 percent chance of showers after midnight.

To assist with inquiries about this incident, Grand Canyon National Park’s Incident Information Center has been initiated.   Updated information is already being placed on the park’s recorded Incident Information Line available at 928-638-7688; and tomorrow, the public can call the Incident Information Line at 928-638-7922 and speak to an information specialist between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.   Media inquiries should be made to Public Affairs Officer Maureen Oltrogge at 928-638-7779 or Public Affairs Specialist Shannan Marcak at

928-638-7922.

-NPS-

 
To download this news release in .pdf format, CLICK HERE.

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Yavapai Observation Station

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