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Gold Beach man drowns while on Rogue River fishing trip

The Curry County Sheriff's Office said that it recovered the body of a Gold Beach man the morning after he went into the river.

Posted: Apr 24, 2020 3:42 PM

GOLD BEACH, Ore. — The body of a Gold Beach man was recovered from the Rogue River on Friday after he went missing on Thursday, according to the Curry County Sheriff's Office.

Dispatch received a 911 call on Thursday reporting that a boat had been spotted going in circles just off shore from Huntley Park on the Rogue River. The caller said that they couldn't see anyone in the boat. A second call later reported a man in the river, but people at the scene were unable to find him.

Sheriff's deputies, paramedics, and firefighters responded to the scene, meeting up with a witness. While the Sheriff's Office Search & Rescue team deployed drones to get a view of the area, other members used boats to scour the area — using sonar to see if anyone could be detected underwater.

The man reported missing was identified as 53-year-old Harold Helton of Gold Beach, the Sheriff's Office said.

"Helton had launched his boat off the gravel bar at Huntley Park and was supposed to pick up his fishing partner up around the corner," the agency said. "When Helton never showed up, the fishing partner noticed Helton’s boat going in circles down below."

Helton's fishing partner reportedly was able to get another boat, and motored out to where Helton's boat was circling. He shut down the boat's motor, but could not find Helton.

"As darkness fell, searchers had not located Helton and made plans to return at first light to resume the search with divers," the Sheriff's Office said.

Search teams returned on Friday morning. Shortly before 9 a.m., divers found Helton's body and returned him to shore. The Sheriff's Office says that his next of kin have been notified.

"Our condolences go out to the family," the agency said.

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