Search for Missing Tuber

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

On June 4th, I wrote a blog about a missing kayaker on the Mackinaw River.  On June 6th, his body was found by his family near where he disappeared.  It was an unfortunate and needless tragedy.  This certainly has been a very wet and deadly spring for many parts of the country.

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We have had quite a bit of rain this last week, and unbelievably, a group of men decided to ride inner tubes down the swollen river Monday afternoon.  As they tried to maneuver around a massive log jam at a bridge, one of the men slipped off his inner tube and disappeared.

Again, Yuma and I went to the river and here are photos from the same bridge we visited last week.  The river is much higher and flowing faster than when we last visited.  The area where the tuber was last seen is about 25 miles down stream from this location.

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The river is moving so fast and is so dangerous, searchers cannot use boats on the river, nor can any divers get in the water.  Because the 48 year old man was behind the other tubers and did not go past the log jam nor them, the search has been declared a recovery search.  The only searching being done is along the banks of the river.  Unlike the remote wilderness area the kayaker was lost in, the area the tuber disappeared in, is fairly populated.

It was very hot and humid today, so when we returned home, we stayed inside most of the rest of the day.

Here is Yuma giving me his pitiful look while I am eating my lunch.  It works.

Fergie loves to walk with Yuma along the road in front of our house.  I finally bought a harness, so Yuma no longer wears the choke chain.

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See you later.

Search for Missing Kayaker

June 4, 2015

Last Sunday, two young men from the Bloomington area went kayaking in the Mackinaw River.  We had quite a bit of rain last week and the river was running high and fast.  The area they went in is near Congerville, about 15 miles northwest of my home.

All the facts have not been revealed, but one of the young men overturned.  It is reported he was seen climbing to shore, but he has not been found.  The authorities believe he may have gone back into the water to retrieve the kayak.   They have not identified the other kayaker or what he did to help.

For four days, the search has been in progress by land, air and water.  Trained searchers have covered more than 330 acres and boat teams have searched more than five miles down stream.  A helicopter with thermal sensor equipment checked 18 miles of the river.  There have been no clues found from all these searches.

Today, Yuma and I decided to try our hand in the search.  At 10:30, we headed up hwy 150 past the wind farm toward the small town of Carlock. 

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Carlock has a population of a little over 550 and is on the road to Congerville.

Congerville is even smaller.  No real town, just a farming community on the railroad tracks with around 400 people.

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Went through Congerville and came to the Mackinaw River about two miles west of the village.  Right before the bridge was the search team headquarters at a farm house.

I stopped there and talked with one of the search team to see what I could do.  While there, a helicopter came in and landed.

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The number of searchers has dropped in numbers.  They asked if we would go about five miles south to the Mackinaw River Conservation area and keep a watch at the area canoes and kayaks enter the river.  Off we went, heading under the railroad tracks and down the road heading for our search area.

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Following the signs, we finally reached the small bridge over the river.  Yuma and I walked onto the bridge and searched the fast moving and swollen river in both directions

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We then continued on to the canoe access area.

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Here is our watch headquarters.  Yuma watched the river very carefully.imageimage

We tried walking the river bank but as you can see, it is very dense.image

Yuma and I watched the river for several hours until our replacements came.  I wish I could say the young man was found today, but unfortunately another day without a clue as to where he is.  The river level continues to drop and I fear that soon it will give up his location.

See you later.