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Search for missing rafter called off

SUMNER, Wash. — Search and rescue teams called off their search for a 25-year-old who went missing Monday afternoon while trying to float a portion of the Puyallup River in an inner tube.

East Pierce Fire and Rescue crews stopped the search because of difficult water conditions at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday.

A Pierce County sheriff’s department spokesman said the man put his tube in the water around 6 p.m. Monday with two friends at a drop spot near 80th Street East and State Route 162 by the Puyallup River bridge. The group floated for about two hours before the friend was separated from the others. The group waited for him at the point they were supposed to meet, and called 911 once he was missing for more than two hours.

WaterrescuePierce County Search and Rescue crews arrived at the scene shortly after 12 a.m. and found the missing man’s inner tube near a sand bar south of the drop spot. The search was called off because muddy, swift-moving water hampered efforts.

Police said the 25-year-old was possibly high on some kind of cough medicine.

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