The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department’s helicopter was used again on Wednesday to search for a man who was last seen being swept down the Stanislaus River in Knights Ferry Tuesday.
Authorities have tentatively identified the man as a 23-year-old Stockton man, said Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Sgt. Antony Bejaran.
The man and a friend were holding onto the sides of an inflatable raft, their bodies in the water, to float down the river east of the covered bridge Tuesday afternoon. When they hit rapids both lost grasp of the raft.
The friend nearly drowned but was able to make it to shore. The Stockton man was last seen being carried down the river.
Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Protection District launched two boats and searched for the man for several hours Tuesday. Bejaran said the sheriff’s department’s dive team was not used because the current is too dangerous. He said the river if slowing at about 5,800 cubic feet per second.
Bejaran said the helicopter will be used again Thursday to continue the search.