Body of drowning victim recovered in Malheur County

The body of a drowning victim was found Saturday morning after the man fell out of his kayak while recreating on the Snake River on Wednesday.
 Bernardo Garcia Jr., 50, of Beaverton, Ore., who was staying with friends, was attempting to cross the river about four miles west of Weiser when his water craft tipped over. 
 “He and his other friend were on kayaks, floating across the river,” Washington County Sheriff Matt Thomas told the Weiser Signal American via a phone interview on Monday. “They were trying to get to the Oregon side and both of them flipped out. The other person was able to hold on to his kayak and swim to shore, but the deceased wasn’t able to.”
The men were not wearing life jackets and alcohol was a factor in the incident, according to Thomas.
 The call came in at about 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 22. 
 Emergency crews launched a search on jet skis that evening until they ran out of light and resumed searching Friday morning on the water and on foot along the shoreline and islands in the river. Two drones were used in the search, one from Sand Hollow Fire Department and another from Scott Manser, according to an Argus Observer report.
 Washington and Malheur County Sheriff’s Offices were involved in the search, along with Idaho Fish and Game, Weiser Rural Fire Department, Baker County Sheriff’s Office, and Oregon State Police.
 The search was temporarily suspended on Thursday at about 7 p.m. due to high water flows and temperatures that hindered efforts.
 According to the U.S. Geological Survey, flows on the river were at 11,000 cfs around that time.
 Garcia’s body was found Saturday, June 26 at approximately 10:47 a.m., just as the Fiddle Week parade was ready to get underway. Authorities were called out to an area on the river located about 500 yards east of the Catfish Junction RV park off Highway 201 west of Weiser.



Signal American

18 E. Idaho St.
Weiser, ID 83672
PH: (208) 549-1717
FAX: (208) 549-1718

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