In Metolius River

by: JESSICA NOACK - The Metolius River, above Bridge 99, is wide and swift. Below the bridge, where fisherman Isamu Furuichi, 62, of Corvallis, slipped and fell into the water, the river is more treacherous. Furuichi's body was found Tuesday 2.3 miles downriver from where he fell in on Monday, May 26.On Tuesday afternoon, search and rescue members found the body of the missing fisherman who had accidently fallen into the Metolius River Monday afternoon.

Crews were able to recover the body of Isamu (Sam) Furuichi, 62, of Corvallis. Furuichi was employed as a sushi chef and was spending the day fishing on the Metolius River with his wife when he accidently stumbled and fell into the swiftly moving river.

Furuichi was found about 2.3 miles downriver from where he initially fell in by search and rescue members who were searching the river by kayaks. He was found still wearing his neoprene chest waders and was not wearing a life jacket.

Alcohol and drugs are not believed to be a factor in the accident.

Search efforts included crews searching again by foot along the shoreline, the river by kayaks, and a Lifeflight helicopter searching from the air.

Tuesday’s search was a total team effort, according to Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue coordinator Dave Blann. "Without the help from our partners at the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office providing their swift water rescue team and Lifeflight helping in the search things may not have ended so quickly," he said.

Lifeflight allowed a member from the swift water team to fly with them not only to help spot, but to also scout the river to make sure their team could safely search the river.

Once the search began on the water, Furuichi was found in about 30 minutes approximately 3,000 feet down river from where the search had been forced to stop the night before due to darkness.

Recovery efforts then took another hour and once removed he was transported to Bel-Air Colonial Funeral Home in Madras.

"This is a tragic ending to a day of fishing," said Capt. Marc Heckathorn, of the JCSO, reminding people that inflatable lifejackets are an important option for fisherman, since they have the ability to save a life, but don't interfere with fishing.

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