On July 26, 2021, at about 3:27 p.m., Humboldt County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the Eel River near Holmes Flat for the report of a possible drowning.
According to witnesses, a 57-year-old male victim had been swept under by the river’s current while swimming and failed to resurface.
Cal-Fire, City Ambulance, Rio Dell Fire, Scotia Fire and Humboldt Bay Fire responded to assist in searching for the missing male. At approximately 4:08 p.m. emergency crews utilizing a Cal-Fire helicopter located the missing male in the river. Rescue swimmers brought the man to shore and initiated life saving efforts. Despite extensive efforts, the man was pronounced deceased.
Residents and visitors to Humboldt County are urged to take extreme caution while recreating in local rivers and the ocean. If you do decide to swim in the local rivers this summer, the Sheriff’s Office offers some safety tips:
- Be sure to check river levels and flow information with the National Weather Service, in addition to water release information for the Trinity River.
- Never swim alone.
- Avoid swimming into a fast-moving current. If the current seems too strong, get out of the water.
- Don’t consume alcohol while swimming.
- Inflatable water toys should not be used in place of a life jacket. Young children should wear a life jacket when swimming in the river. Watch children at all times.