Man feared dead after falling in Skykomish River near Index

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GOLD BAR, Wash. — A tragic accident turned the base of scenic Sunset Falls into the site of a recovery mission Saturday evening, as search crews worked to find the body of a 49-year-old man.

Snohomish County Fire District 7 tells Q13 News a couple who owns property nearby were at the top of the falls, standing on the rocks and taking photos, when the man fell in and was swept away by rushing water.

Several agencies assisted in a large rescue response beginning shortly before 4 p.m. Saturday, with kayak teams and a helicopter searching for any sign of the man.

As afternoon turned to evening first responders shifted focus toward a recovery mission.

The area surrounding the falls was deemed unsafe for divers, due to frigid temperatures and fast-moving water. Instead, search teams deployed underwater cameras and utilized sonar equipment.

Operations were suspended Saturday night shortly before dark. Rescuers said they will resume if new evidence of the victim’s location comes to light.

There have been at least four rescue missions along the Skykomish River in the past couple months, according to District 7’s Heather Chadwick.