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Skykomish River At Index, WA May Have Claimed Second Life This Month
June 28, 2017

Members of Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office dive team & Volunteer Search & Rescue search deep pool of water at base of Sunset Falls earlier this month for missing man. LARGER IMAGE BELOW

LARGER IMAGE of above. Members of Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office dive team & Volunteer Search & Rescue search deep water at base of Sunset Falls earlier this month for missing man. Photo: Sheriff's office. CLICK TO ENLARGE

(INDEX, WA.) -- The Skykomish River is brutally dangerous and unforgiving this time of year. It's running high, fast and very cold due to snow melt in the mountains.

Fall into it at the wrong place and your life can instantly be in jeopardy. And now, the river may have claimed a second human life in just 12 days.

As darkness fell Tuesday evening, Snohomish County search and rescue units -- which had been searching the river near Sunset Falls -- had to suspend operations for the night.

They'd been looking for a 25-year-old woman from Texas who evidently fell in the river earlier in the evening. The search will resume Wednesday morning.

In a story first reported by KCPQ-TV in Seattle, the woman was with her family and was reported to have vanished from a rock she was sitting on just before 8 pm, according to the Snohomish County Sheriff's office.

The county's Snohawk1 helicopter searched the river for an about an hour and fire units were on scene with rescue teams, according to the TV report.

This is same area of the river where a 49-year old man
went missing on June 17

In that incident Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office Dive and Swift Water Rescue units responded to Sunset Falls on that Saturday afternoon June 17 on 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 sheriff's office at that time.

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.

An intensive search effort was launched at the base of the falls without success. Sergeant Fenter, with the Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue unit said at the time the search area was 28 feet 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.

Body of missing Gold Bar man found in the river

Then on the afternoon of Thursday June 22 the body of a missing Gold Bar man was found in the Skykomish River near Monroe, according to the sheriff's office.

Fishermen found the body of Olaf Eriksen, 71, who'd been missing since June 19th, in the river near the 27600 block of 170th Street Southeast around 12:30pm.

Mr. Eriksen, who reportedly suffered from dementia, had been missing since the afternoon of Monday June 19. He was last seen walking away from his home around 1:30 pm that day.

"Personal items of his were found by the Skykomish River at the 800 block of Croft Ave.," said Sgt. Cindi West at the time.



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