Man feared drowned in Skykomish River
Search at Sunset Falls called off
June 18, 2017
Photo shows members from the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office dive team and Volunteer Search and Rescue searching the pool of water at the base of Sunset Falls. Photo: Sheriff''s office. CLICK TO ENLARGE
(INDEX, WA.) -- The Snohomish County Sheriff's office says a search for a man who fell into the south fork of the fast moving and frigid Skykomish River near Index was called off Saturday evening due to unsafe conditions at Sunset Falls.
Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office Dive and Swift Water Rescue units responded to the well known Sunset Falls near Index Saturday afternoon for a report of a man who had fallen into the Skykomish.
"At approximately 3:45 pm on June 17...a male and female were walking along a road way near the raging Skykomish River when the 49 year old male slipped and fell into the water," said Lieutenant John Flood of the
KOMO-TV in Seattle reported that the man and woman own a cabin in the area and were taking photos on the rocks at the top of the falls when the man reached down to grab a bag, slipped and fell over the falls according to Snohomish County Fire District 7.
Fire Department resources from the Index and Gold Bar area were dispatched, along with the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office patrol and water rescue assets.
Snohawk 1, the sheriff's office helicopter, was also dispatched to assist with an aerial search of the river and Snohomish County Volunteer Search and Rescue units were also sent to the area to assist with operations.
Flood said the units searched the area at the base of Sunset Falls without success.
Sergeant Fenter, with the Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue unit advised the area to be searched is 28’ deep "with a tremendous volume of water tumbling over the falls making it extremely unsafe and dangerous to deploy divers into the water."
In place of divers, a remote underwater sonar and camera were used to conduct a search from on top of the water. Units searched the area for more than two hours before suspending all operations.
"When new evidence of the victim’s location is discovered, units will resume operations," said the sheriff's office statement.