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Rescuers suspend search for missing swimmer at Eagle Falls

Efforts to find a swimmer who had been swept down a river had to be called off Monday night, bringing a potentially deadly end to the Memorial Day weekend. (KOMO News)

EAGLE FALLS, Wash. - Efforts to find a swimmer who had been swept down a river had to be called off Monday night, bringing a potentially deadly end to the Memorial Day weekend.

The man had jumped into the south fork of the Skykomish River just below Eagle Falls, and witnesses said the trouble started almost immediately.

The man was with a friend, and both were trying to reach a rope swing on the other bank. The friend made it across, but a 24 year old from Woodinville did not.

“I thought he was OK, but the other guys, I think they know how the water can be,” said Selam Kidane, who witnessed the incident. “They were telling the other guy, ‘Help your buddy.’"

The fast-moving water swept the man farther down river when he suddenly went under.

“And then we couldn't see his head,” Kidane said. “There were a lot of people right here, so one guy jumped in to look for him. He couldn't find him."

Rescue teams eventually moved to a recovery operation before calling off the search entirely for the night.

“The river is a dangerous place to play, especially when the river is running and high,” said Deputy Bill Dawson of the Snohomish Co. Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies said they will have to re-evaluate the situation in the morning before deciding if an active search of the river banks will resume.

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