Multiple agencies continue to search for drowning victim in Greenlee County

Contributed Photo: Multiple counties have joined in the search in the Gila River for missing kayaker Dylan Archuleta.

By Jon Johnson

jonjohnsonnews@gmail.com

CLIFTON – The search for a missing kayaker Dylan Archuleta, who believed to have drowned in the Gila River near Clifton on Sunday, continued Wednesday with assistance from multiple other counties.

Archeleta is believed to be deceased and the search is a recovery mission.

Contributed Photo/Courtesy Cochise County Sheriff’s Office SAR: Members of the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office SAR search the Gila River for missing kayaker Dylan
Archuleta on Tuesday.

According to a man who was camping in the area at the time, Archuleta was kayaking in the Gila River when he went into the water and did not resurface.

On Tuesday, search and rescue groups from Graham and Cochise counties and the United States Border Patrol – including the Border Patrol Search, Trauma, and Rescue Unit – joined Greenlee County SAR in looking for the victim. According to Cochise County SAR, Gila, Maricopa, and Pima counties will send resources to help with the search over the next few days, and Hydronalix will provide a sonar drone as well. Hydronalix is based in Sahuarita and is an international symbol in robotics innovation for beach and flood rescue.

Update: After a day of searching Wednesday, the Greenlee County Sheriff’s Office issued a press release at about 8 p.m. The release stated emergency personnel were initially dispatched at about 3:06 p.m. on Sunday regarding a call of a drowning near the Black Hill Byway Campground.

First responders located Archuleta pinned inside his kayak about a quarter-mile upstream from the Safford Bridge. While attempting to remove Archuleta and his kayak from the river, Archuleta slipped and floated downstream. He was last seen about 100 yards downstream from where he slipped.

Archuleta was an avid outdoorsman and enjoyed fishing. A GoFundMe page has been set up here to help his family.

Along with the organizations listed above, those also assisting in the search include: Clifton Police Department, FMI Technical Rescue, Clifton and Morenci fire departments, the Bureau of Land Management, Arizona Department of Public Safety Air Rescue Ranger, Sabia Ranch and Menges Ranch.

This article was updated at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday to include a statement from the Greenlee County Sheriff’s Office from a press release.

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