Rescue dogs

California man drowned trying to save dogs from waterfall


A photo provided by the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office shows search units searching for 47-year-old Robert Lewis in Shackleford Falls. His body was found on Sunday afternoon.

Courtesy of Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office

A Northern California man drowned while trying to rescue his two dogs from punishing waterfalls, local officials said Monday.

Robert Lewis, a 47-year-old resident of the small town of Montague, Siskiyou County, was visiting Shackleford Falls, a 14-foot waterfall in Klamath National Forest, with his wife and two dogs on Saturday morning.

Lewis drove to the base of the waterfall to rescue his two dogs from the water, the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement Monday, and was soon after “swept away by the strong current and n has not resurfaced”.

Several agencies were then dispatched to find Lewis – among them the Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Team and Cal Fire’s Diving Unit and Water Rescue Unit. But the search was made more difficult by a torrent of rain overnight, creating increased water flow and “dangerous diving conditions, even for experienced swimmers”, the sheriff’s office said.

Rescue divers were dispatched to flotation devices downstream, and a Sheriff’s County water search dog “flagged the pool area” where Lewis may have drowned on Sunday morning. His body was found and recovered around 1:50 p.m.

A representative for the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from SFGATE.