Man Drowned After Going Into Water to Rescue Dogs at California Waterfall

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Saturday, June 4, at approximately 12:12 pm, the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) received a 911 call of a drowning victim in Shackleford Falls in the Scott Valley area. The caller stated her husband, 47-year-old Robert Lewis of Montague, CA, had gone into the base of the waterfall to rescue two of the family’s dogs. Lewis’ wife stated she saw her husband get swept under by the strong current and did not resurface.

A multi-agency response was deployed, including the SCSO Search and Rescue, SCSO Dive Team, and CAL FIRE Siskiyou Unit Water Rescue. Emergency responders searched the area as daylight allowed on Saturday.

Sunday morning, during a continued search, a water search canine provided by Siskiyou County Search and Rescue signaled the area of the pool at the base of the waterfall where Lewis was believed to have drowned.

Unfortunately, due to the amount of rain overnight, increased water flow made unsafe diving conditions, even for experienced emergency swimmers. Multiple recovery tools were deployed to locate Lewis. Additionally, several CAL FIRE rescue divers deployed on floatation devices downriver.

At about 1:50 pm, Sunday afternoon, Lewis was located underwater and recovered by the SCSO Dive Team.


Shackleford Falls, CA

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