Two brothers, both in their 60s, are presumed dead after their raft flipped on the Clackamas River Friday, prompting warnings about river safety from the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office.
The brothers and a friend were attempting to cross the Clackamas River to get to Austin Hot Springs when one of the brothers, 67-year-old Vladymir Zagreychuk, fell into the river, deputies reported.
The lone survivor, a 61-year-old man, and the remaining brother, 66-year-old Vasiliy Zagreychuk, then floated more than a half-mile downriver before the raft flipped, dumping both men. The survivor searched for the other two members of his party but was unable to locate them.
The survivor was eventually helped by another group, which offered to take him into town. Deputies located the brothers’ vehicle on a Forest Service road and called in the Clackamas County Search and Rescue team.
Searchers were challenged by diminishing daylight and swift, extremely high water. They scoured the river and surrounding areas throughout Friday night and into Saturday morning but could not find the missing men.
Teams were assisted by Mountain Wave Search and Rescue, a Hood River County Sheriff’s Office aircraft and drones.
Tuesday afternoon, Vasiliy Zagreychuk was confirmed dead when his body was located by a U.S. Forest Service officer shortly before 2 p.m., approximately 2.8 miles downriver from the rope crossing where the incident began the previous week.
The location was about two miles from where the raft flipped, sending the two remaining men downriver. Officials said the body was found in the Clackamas River, caught up in what is known as a “strainer” — a series of logs and debris blocking a portion of the river.
While active search efforts were officially suspended Saturday night, May 20, members of the Forest Service and sheriff’s office continue to periodically search the area for the second missing rafter in the hope that it will help bring closure to the family.
The sheriff’s office warned residents to use extreme caution when on the Clackamas River because of high water levels, fast currents and cold water. Officials also urged recreators to note that Austin Hot Springs is on private property and is closed to all public use.
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