Update: Firefighters found the body believed to be the missing man at 11:20 today, around 250 yards from where he was last seen in the water.
Cedar Rapids firefighters will resume their search today for the body of man believed to have drowned in the Cedar River on Saturday. Fire department spokesman, Craig Beulow, says they will expand the search after divers failed to find the man in the area where he was last seen.
“Based on the temperature of the water, the depth, the victim’s characteristics, what we believe are the height and weight, the diving professional said that more than likely the victim has move downstream. So the fire department is concentrating its efforts now on taking boats up and down the river,” Beulow says. He says they believe the victim is a 28-year old Latino man, but are not releasing any other information about him until it can be confirmed.
“It appears that the individual along with another male were in the water attempting to cross the river, going from the east side to the west side of the river — got about halfway out and the individual started struggling. His friend was able to get out, but this individual went under water. We have at least three independent witnesses that say he was under water and did not resurface,” Beulow says.
Beulow says the conditions on the river have presented some challenges in the search. “The water’s been very shallow, however there have been isolated pockets of holes in the river that are about 12 feet deep,” Beulow explains.
“Primarily one of our issues has been not all of our boats can navigate through really some shallow channels. We have one boat in particular that’s able to go into some more shallow water and then extend itself all the way out to Highway 30 in an attempt to try and locate the victim.”
He says they’ve run into problems with debris in the deeper areas of the river and that has also hampered the recovery effort.