On 05-25-2105 at about 6:15 p.m. the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a report regarding a possible male drowning victim in the Trinity River near Big Rock, Hoopa.
When deputies arrived on scene they coordinated with the Hoopa Tribal Volunteer Fire Department, Willow Creek Volunteer Fire Department, Hoopa Valley Tribal Police Department, Salyler Volunteer Fire Deparment, and the United States Forest Service, who arrived on scene to assist in the rescue efforts. Hoopa Valley Volunteer Search and Rescue deployed their river boats onto the Trinity River to look for the victim. A United States Coast Guard helicopter was also used to fly the river looking for the victim.
Deputies spoke to two male friends of the victim, who told them what had occurred. The two friends stated that their friend jumped into the river and immediately called out for help, because of the strong river current. The two friends said both of them immediately jumped into the river to rescue their friend. They said they were able to reach the victim, who was already unconscious in the water. One of the friends said he had the victim on his back while he was swimming against the current. The victim slipped off his back and went under water and did not surface. They said they both almost drowned trying to rescue their friend, because of the strong current. Both of the friends were able to then get out of the river.
Search and rescue units looked for the victim until darkness, but were unable to locate him. Search and Rescue units will return to the river on Tuesday morning to attempt to locate the victim. The victim is 27 years old from Boise, Idaho.
Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.
Mike Downey, Sheriff