Sheriff's Office Investigating Eel River Drowning


The Humboldt County Sheriff's Office is investigating the death of a 57-year-old man who drowned in the Eel River near Holmes Flat yesterday afternoon.

According to a witness, the man was swept under by the river's current while swimming and failed to resurface, a sheriff's office press release states.

Sheriff's deputies and multiple agencies were dispatched to the scene at about 3:30 p.m. and conducted a search. Shortly before 4:10 p.m., crews were able to locate the man and rescue swimmers brought him ashore but he was later pronounced dead.

For the second consecutive day in a press release regarding a drowning in a local river, the sheriff's office is urging people to take extreme accusation while recreating in local rovers and the ocean. Specifically, the sheriff's office is asking people to check river flow information before swimming, refrain from swimming alone or consuming alcohol while recreating on the water, and to make sure children are wearing life jackets and closely monitored at all times.

See the full press release from the sheriff's office copied below:

Eel River Drowning Investigation

On July 26, 2021, at about 3:27 p.m., Humboldt County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the Eel River near Holmes Flat for the report of a possible drowning.

According to witnesses, a 57-year-old male victim had been swept under by the river’s current while swimming and failed to resurface.

Cal-Fire, City Ambulance, Rio Dell Fire, Scotia Fire and Humboldt Bay Fire responded to assist in searching for the missing male. At approximately 4:08 p.m. emergency crews utilizing a Cal-Fire helicopter located the missing male in the river. Rescue swimmers brought the man to shore and initiated life saving efforts. Despite extensive efforts, the man was pronounced deceased.

Residents and visitors to Humboldt County are urged to take extreme caution while recreating in local rivers and the ocean. If you do decide to swim in the local rivers this summer, the Sheriff’s Office offers some safety tips:

Be sure to check river levels and flow information with the National Weather Service, in addition to water release information for the Trinity River.
Never swim alone.
Avoid swimming into a fast-moving current. If the current seems too strong, get out of the water.
Don’t consume alcohol while swimming.
Inflatable water toys should not be used in place of a life jacket. Young children should wear a life jacket when swimming in the river. Watch children at all times.

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