The search has been suspended for a Hood River man, Steve Revier, lost in a rafting accident on the upper Klickitat River, according to Sgt. Joe Riggers of the Klickitat County Sheriff’s Department.
Riggers indicated that a change in river conditions is needed to continue the search. Visibility in the water is 12-14 inches, he said.
Jeff King, search and rescue coordinator for KCSO, said no timeline has been set for resuming the search.
“We’ve exhausted all efforts on land and water until the water conditions change,” he said. “That is dependent completely on the weather, but we are monitoring it daily and will respond whenever it seems feasible.”
The accident is believed to have occurred around 2 p.m. on May 17 about two miles upstream of the fish hatchery near Glenwood. Two men, Chad Saunders of Portland and Revier, put into the river a few miles upstream of the hatchery at a river gauging station. The accident occurred when the raft overturned, dumping the men into the water. Saunders made his way to shore and last saw Revier in the river. Revier was wearing a wet suit and life jacket, according to Riggers. Both men were experienced rafters.
Saunders made his way to the hatchery and called for help. Initial responders included the Yakima County Sheriff’s Department, Klickitat County Sheriff’s Department, Klickitat County Search and Rescue, and volunteers and members of the Glenwood Fire Department. Also assisting was a ground support rescue unit from Mason County, fixed wing aircraft from Hood River a U.S. Forest Service employee and Zollers and Wet Planet rafting companies.
Riggers said the search has been working both sides of the river above and below the fish hatchery. The search in the river was done from rafts and kayaks working around downed trees and branches in the river. Divers were not used, according to Riggers.