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Body of second missing rafter found in the Clackamas River

Two men were reported missing May 19 after their raft overturned while they were trying to cross the Clackamas River. The body of the first man was found Tuesday.
Credit: Clackamas County Sheriff's Office
Austin Hot Springs along the Clackamas River

CLACKAMAS COUNTY, Ore. — The body of the second of two missing rafters was found Thursday morning in the Clackamas River, according to the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office. The body of the other rafter was found on Tuesday afternoon.

A rafting trip to Austin Hot Springs sent the two men and one other rafter into the water as they tried to cross the Clackamas River on the morning of May 19. The third man survived and told police that the trio had been attempting to reach the springs when their raft flipped, sending them downriver.

The two deceased men were brothers, 65-year-old Vladimir Zagreychuk of Portland and 64-year-old Vasiliy Zagreychuk of Gresham. The body found Tuesday had become trapped in a "strainer," the sheriff's office said — a series of logs and debris blocking a portion of the river.

The sheriff's office initially reported Wednesday that the first body was that of Vasiliy Zagreychuk, but they said on Friday that it had actually been the body of Vladimir Zagreychuk, and the second body found Thursday was that of Vasiliy Zegreychuk.

The body found Thursday was also found on a strainer, the sheriff's office said, about half a mile downriver from the crossing point where the raft overturned, and on the opposite side of the river from the springs. A family member using a drone found the body and then notified search and rescue volunteers.

The man who survived told police that one member of the group fell out of the raft at a rope crossing near the springs, and he and the other member floated about a half mile downstream before the raft flipped and sent the two of them into the water. 

The survivor said he searched the area but was unable to locate the other two men. The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office said the survivor was assisted by another group who took him into town. The vehicle belonging to the missing party was found on a Forest Service Road later in the day.

Clackamas County Search and Rescue was activated and searched for the men into the overnight hours in swift moving and extremely high river conditions. 

The search continued on Saturday with additional resources from Mountain Wave Emergency Communications, aircraft from the Hood River County Sheriff's Office and drones. 

The sheriff's office reminds folks that Austin Hot Springs is private property and closed to the public. They're also warning those recreating along the Clackamas River to use extreme caution. The river levels are high, currents are moving very quickly and water temperatures are still very cold.

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