Curry County Search and Rescue crews and others were still searching for the body of 37-year-old Jason James of Gold Beach who fell off jet-skiing into the Rogue River Sunday afternoon and is presumed drowned.
According to Sheriff John Ward, the office received a 911 call for a person in distress near Jim Hunt Creek about 5 miles east of Gold Beach.
“The limited information at the time was that two male subjects were testing out a pair of jet skis when one went under water,” Ward said in a press release Tuesday.
Patrol and Marine deputies, Search and Rescue, Oregon State Police, Gold Beach and Cedar Valley North Bank re departments were dispatched to the scene.
First responders discovered James had been on one of two jet skis and that he was attempting to help 25-year-old Thomas Morris of Gold Beach, whose ski had quit running in the middle of the river. Witnesses say James’s skipped over while trying to help Morris and James went under water.
A bystander tried to swim out to James but was unable to get to him, making it three people in the water. None of the three people had life vests on, according to Ward.
Two members of the Cedar Valley/ North Bank Fire Department who live across the river wit nessed the event and paddled their kayaks over to assist Morris and the would-be rescuer back to shore. James had gone under water in the current and disappeared.
Sheriff’s Search and Rescue put two divers in the water while several boats and a Gold Beach Fire crew with a jet ski scoured the area. Deputies and re crews were staged alongside both sides of the river and a Cal-Ore Life Flight/ Air Reach helicopter combed the area from the air. A SAR member in his private boat used a sonar scan to search the river bottom but by late evening, crews suspended the search due to poor light.
On Monday March 25, 2019, the search for Jason James continued during rainy overcast weather. Search crews were not able to locate any sign of Jason James.
Tuesday, the search continued with boats and jet skis on the water and drones and a helicopter in the air but to no avail by late afternoon.