Sunday, January 24, 2021
Jan. 24, 2021

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Rescuers search for missing man on Washougal River

30-year-old fell off his inner tube while floating the river

By , Columbian Assistant Metro Editor

Clark County sheriff’s deputies and other rescuers are searching for a man who went missing Saturday night when he and his companion fell off their inner tubes while floating the Washougal River.

Deputies responded about 8:15 p.m. to the 38700 block of Northeast Washougal River Road, near Milepost 7.5, for a woman who was screaming for help. Upon arrival, they found Emily McCauley, 28, of Portland, submerged up to her neck in the Washougal River. Her legs were pinned beneath the rapidly moving water, according to a sheriff’s office press release.

It took about two hours to rescue McCauley, who became unconscious, and she was taken to a local hospital for treatment. She resumed consciousness there and was interviewed by deputies early Sunday morning.

She told deputies she had been floating with Stephen Barnaby, 30, of Portland, on the “big eddy” on separate inner tubes near Milepost 8 of Washougal River Road. That area of water is described as deep rapids and swift moving, according to the sheriff’s office.

They were swept into the fast-moving current and fell off their inner tubes. McCauley’s legs became stuck in some debris and rocks below the water. She said she remembered seeing Barnaby float by her when she became trapped, the sheriff’s office said.

Deputies, the sheriff’s office’s marine unit and other searchers are trying to locate Barnaby. Deputies found an associated vehicle, the empty raft and other personal items belonging to him.

Barnaby is described as being white with shoulder length brown hair, a short brown beard, and was last seen wearing black pants and a black T-shirt, according to the sheriff’s office.