MISSOULA – Authorities are temporarily suspending the search for a man who is missing after falling into the Clark Fork River over the weekend.
There are a few points of interest based on water activity that search and rescue crews plan to search again, according to Missoula County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Brenda Bassett.
However, Bassett added that the search can’t resume until water levels drop and it is safe for members to return. The water is presenting many hazards because of its depth, speed and the debris that has been moved during the recent, major flooding
A ?70-year-old man went missing around 2 p.m. on Saturday in a stretch of the river between Clinton and Turah. Officials said two people were in the boat when it overturned. One person was swept underneath while the other individual made it to safety.
MISSOULA – There is still no sign of the man who went missing on Saturday afternoon in the Clark Fork River east of Missoula.
The Missoula County Sheriff’s Office said the 70-year-old man went missing around 2 p.m. in a stretch of the river between Clinton and Turah. Officials said two people were in the boat when it overturned. One person was swept underneath while the other individual made it to safety.
Deputies along with members of Missoula County Search and Rescue are involved in the search which was temporarily suspended on Sunday evening after surveying along the banks, using boats to search the river and even putting drones in the air.
"There were two individuals in the boat. The boat caught up on some of the debris, it overturned and both males ended up in the water. However, one was swept underneath the water and we interviewed the individual who made it out and he said he didn’t see him resurface," Missoula County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Brenda Basset said.
Along with the heavy winds on Sunday, Bassett said the cold water has made it unsafe for search and rescue divers to enter the river.
"When the water goes up over the river banks, it starts to wash out underneath. And then underneath that, is a lot of snags, so it’s not only what’s on the side of the river, it’s what’s underneath," Bassett explained.
"It’s just the perfect storm of a reason why people should not be out recreating, and if you do choose to do that, be prepared and have life jackets on and things in your boat should you, you know find yourself in trouble," Bassett added.
She also told MTN News that the recent flooding contributed to making the waters as dangerous as they are at the moment and she couldn’t stress enough the importance of staying out of the water.
The identity of the man has not been released. We will have more information on this story as it becomes available.