Tragic River Rescue Effort in Humboldt County: Multiple Agencies Mobilized During Search for Missing Teen in Trinity River

Joseph Viveiros Dawson

Joseph Viveiros Dawson

Press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department:

On 4/22/2024, at about 3:40 p.m., Humboldt County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the Tish Tang Campground near Hoopa, CA for the report of a possible drowning.

According to witnesses, a juvenile female had been swept away by the river current while attempting to cool off and two additional persons had jumped into the river in an attempt to rescue her.

Upon deputy arrival, the female was observed on a rock on the opposite side of the river and a second person was quickly discovered downstream yelling for help and holding onto a tree. A passing civilian boat assisted in bringing both subjects to safety. Both were transported to a local hospital by ambulance.

The Sheriff’s Office’s jet boat and a Hoopa Valley Tribal Police Department boat were launched near the area in which the third person, Joseph Viveiros Dawson, age 19, was reported missing. California Highway Patrol and US Coast Guard helicopters were also dispatched to aid in the search. While the search was ongoing, a family member of Viveiros jumped into the river and was swept downstream. The Sheriff’s Office jet boat was able to rescue the man, who was transported to a local hospital for treatment.

HCSO along with multiple other agencies searched the area where Viveiros went missing. An underwater ROV (remotely operated underwater vehicle) with sonar capabilities was used to aid in the search. The search for Viveiros Dawson has been unsuccessful.

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank Humboldt County Special Services, Hoopa Tribal Police, Hoopa Volunteer Fire, Yurok Tribal Police, CHP Air Operations, United States Coast Guard, Hoopa Ambulance, Cal OES, Yuba County Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit and the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit for their quick response and assistance in this operation.

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Humboldt County LineD
20 days ago

Very sad. Young man tried to do the right thing. I wish him and his family the best.

20 days ago

This is incredibly sad. My heart goes out to this young man’s family. I hope they are able to find peace. Just so sad.

Last edited 20 days ago