Motorized Boat and Helicopter Join the Search for Vehicle Submerged in the Eel River
Today, a California Highway Patrol helicopter and the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department’s motorized boat have joined the search for the vehicle which rolled over the embankment and disappeared into the Eel River north of Leggett on April 6. The search for the vehicle has been the subject of international attention as there is a missing family with ties to India who are believed to have planned to travel through the area at roughly the same day as the vehicle went off the road.
In the video above taken by a local resident, the CHP helicopter began circling the Eel River around the accident site this morning. “River conditions are improving,” explained Officer William Wunderlich of the Garberville CHP office. The waters are receding and clearing up.
In addition, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department’s motorized boat, equipped with what Diana Totten from Southern Humboldt Technical Search and Rescue called “forward-looking sonar,” is using radio waves to search for underwater obstacles.
Inside, the boat, a team member holds a long probe also used for locating sunken items.
Wunderlich said that once the vehicle is located, then divers will attempt to determine if bodies are inside. “If anything is missing,” he said, “then other plans will have to be put in place.”
Totten pointed out that multiple agencies and volunteer organizations are working together again today to search for the missing vehicle. “All stops are being pulled out,” she said.
Note: The agencies and organizations involved are:
- Southern Humboldt Technical Rescue
- Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Boat Team
- California Highway Patrol Helicopter based in Redding, California
- Piercy Fire Department
- Leggett Valley Fire Department
- Swift Water Component Teams – Little Lake Fire Department , Ukiah Valley Fire Department and Hopland Fire Departm
Earlier Chapters for Vehicle Swallowed by the Eel River:
- Vehicle Upside Down in Water by Confusion Hill on 101
- Rescuers Unable to Recover Occupant(s) or Vehicle After It Plunged Into Eel River
- CHP Searched Sunday for Vehicle and Occupant(s) That Disappeared Into the Eel on Friday
- River Still Hasn’t Dropped Enough to Locate Vehicle That Was Swallowed Last Friday
- Dive Teams Sought for Missing People in the Hart Accident off Hwy 1 and the Missing Vehicle That Was Swallowed by the Eel River on Friday
- Multiple Agencies Searching for Vehicle Swallowed by Eel River
- Witness Tells of Vehicle Tipping Onto Two Wheels and Tumbling Over the Bank Into the Eel River Near Confusion Hill North of Leggett; Searchers Scour the River Tuesday