A man reported to be struggling in the high water and swift current of the South Umpqua River on Tuesday evening was not located by first responders and is presumed drowned.
The Roseburg Fire Department and Douglas County Fire District No. 2 responded to a report of a male in a dark sweatshirt flailing his arms about in the water at 5:48 p.m. Personnel were unable to locate anyone matching the description while conducting both a visual and shallow-water search.
“We searched the area where he was last seen and turned up nothing,” said Roseburg Fire Department Battalion Chief Chris Sutton said Tuesday night. “We are terminating our search until the water recedes some. Obviously, we are dealing with some hazardous conditions with some high water, debris and the flood.”
Trained rescue swimmers examined the area around the man’s last reported position, wading and using paddles to search below the surface. A pontoon boat was available and would have been deployed had a subject been visible in the water, Sutton said.
The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office deployed its marine unit, but did not venture down the river from its staging area at Templin Beach Park, Sutton said. Other agencies that deployed included the Roseburg Police Department and Umpqua Valley Ambulance. Members from the Roseburg Fire Department and Oregon State Police monitored the South Umpqua River from Stewart Park.
Emergency crews warned that due to ongoing weather conditions, high water levels and large amounts of debris that individuals should use caution and stay away from swift moving rivers and streams.
On Sunday, a 9-year-old reported a man yelling for help and clinging to a log in the North Umpqua River near Colliding Rivers viewpoint, according to the sheriff’s office.