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Body of missing swimmer found in Rogue River

The 44-year-old was found 500 yards downstream from where he was last seen swimming without a life jacket.

Posted: Aug 16, 2019 4:15 PM

NEAR GALICE, Ore. --

Update: 8/16/19 4:15 p.m.

Josephine County Search and Rescue divers continued searching the Rogue River near Galice for Jason Briggs with assistance from the Jackson County Marine Division.

Around 1:30 PM, the body of Jason Briggs was located and recovered by Search and Rescue personnel. Briggs was located approximately 500 yards downstream from where he was last seen on August 15, 2019. This case will now be turned over to Deputy State Medical Examiner, Dr. James Olson.

It was reported Jason Briggs, 44 years of age, was swimming across the Rogue River approximately ¼ mile below the Galice Resort. According to friends on scene, Briggs went under water and was not seen again. When friends called 911 from Galice Resort, personnel from the Galice Resort used a raft to start a search along the river. The Sheriff’s Office as well as Rural Metro Fire Department responded and began searching the area for Briggs. Searchers walked the riverbanks and additional personnel searched the water with the Sheriff’s Office marine boat.

Original: 8/15/19 10:30 p.m.

Rural Metro Fire said a swimmer is missing and presumed drowned in the Rogue River, near a recreational area just below Rocky Riffle. Rescue teams from Rural Metro , AMR-Josephine County, Grants Pass Department of Public Safety and Josephine County Sheriff's Office searched until dark but were unable to find the man. The search will continue Friday morning.

Crews said the incident happened in a section of the river that is deceptively calm on the surface. They add the section unfortunately also serves as reminder that the Rogue River is notorious for catching swimmers off-guard because of the strong currents below the surface.

Crews said they've seen this happen countless times. They want anyone who is having fun out on the Rogue to avoid attempts to swim across, always wear a functioning life jacket, and to drink responsibly.

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