Authorities suspend search and recovery of missing woman and child near Dan River dam in North Carolina – WSOC TV
ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, North Carolina – The Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office said on Saturday night it had suspended search, rescue and recovery efforts for two people still missing after a group floated on a river from North Carolina on inflatable tubes crossed the edge of a steep dam.
Authorities said they recovered the bodies of three people on Thursday evening.
“As we conclude the search and rescue efforts today, we are confident that we have exhausted all efforts to save or recover the other two victims of Wednesday’s pipe incident on the Dan River. At this point, we will suspend all search, rescue and recovery efforts, ”the sheriff’s office posted on facebook Saturday.
Rockingham County Sheriff Sam Page asks for prayers for family members.
“Say a prayer for these families because they have lost someone,” Page told Channel 9 on Friday.
The five tubers were among a group of nine people in total who tubed the River Dan on Wednesday evening, according to the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office.
MPs believe they were initially linked together but went their separate ways before floating on a Duke Energy dam near a local power plant on Wednesday, authorities said.
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“I can’t imagine crossing the roadblock,” Page said.
Authorities received the first 911 call 18 hours later.
Four people “clinging to various objects” were spotted by a Duke Energy plant worker and rescued from the river around 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Lt. Kevin Suthard told ABC. of Rockingham County. Radio.
Rueben Villino, 35, his daughter Irene Villino, 18, his son Eric Villino, 14, all of Eden, and Karlos Villino, 14, of LaPorte, Indiana, were rescued.
They were sent to hospital for treatment, he said. They are expected to recover.
The bodies of Bridish Crawford, 27, Eden, Antonio Ramon, 30, of Eden, and Sophie Wilson, 14, of LaPorte, Indiana, were found Thursday evening.
Officials said Thressa Villino, 30, (Rueben’s sister) and Isiah Crawford, 7 (Bridish’s son), both of Eden, are still missing after crossing the brink of a roadblock.
Authorities said search and recovery efforts had shifted from the Duke Energy plant to the Virginia state border.
The planes searched the river for 6 miles in Virginia and back, and along the ground adjacent to the river, Cates said. Another search for planes was scheduled for Thursday evening equipped with an infrared camera.
Tubing is a “regular activity” in the area, said Suthard, although he added that people are discouraged from tubing near the dam.
“It’s a pretty steep fall,” he said.
Cates said it was not unusual for people to float down the river on tubes or rafts in the area, but most come out and walk around the dam, which is marked with signs. The dam is around 8 feet high, he said.
“Most people see a big dam and they recognize the danger,” said Tobi Addis of the Danville Life Saving Crew. “A low-head dam, even as short as three or four feet, can create underwater currents that can keep you underwater over and over again.”
The search for the other two resumed on Saturday morning before authorities called off search efforts that night.
“The challenges today are accessing the river to deploy boats,” said Tommy Barber, of the Danville Life Saving Crew. “The river is very dirty right now. So you don’t have a lot of clarity.
The investigation extends from Rockingham County to the Virginia border.
ABC News’ Will McDuffie contributed to this report.
(SEE BELOW: Jeep found idling in dam spillway)
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