Man drowns in same river where teen's body found

Man drowns in same river where teen's body found
Douglas County Sheriff's Office dive team and search and rescue have been busy this week, with two drownings exactly one week apart in the same river. Officials are urging people to use caution when recreating in the rivers.

ELKTON, Ore. -- The Umpqua River claimed another life this weekend.

Derrick Sean Rape, 26, of Yoncalla, was swimming in the Umpqua with his family near the 12000 block of Highway 38 just outside of Elkton on Sunday, when he tried to cross the river.

Douglas County Sheriff's deputies were called to the scene at about 1:40 p.m., after a 911 call came in saying that Rape was in the water near the Yellow Creek boat ramp calling for help.

Investigators at the scene learned that Rape had been with his family in shallow water, when at about 1:30 p.m., he decided to swim across the river.

Police say he got about halfway, when he decided he couldn't make it, and started to float down the river, calling for help. He eventually floated out of sight of the people who were with him.

Rape was not wearing a life jacket.

Sheriff's deputies, along with search and rescue units and the marine patrol, joined dive team members in searching for the man.

His body was found about 150 yards downstream from where he was swimming less than two hours later.

Douglas County Fire District 2, North Douglas Fire and Rescue and Kellogg Fire also assisted at the scene.

Officials say that no matter how good a swimmer you are, the river is dangerous. Temperatures are still hovering around 50 degrees, which can drain your energy quickly and cause your muscles to cramp.

If you do want to spend some time in the water, officials are cautioning people to stay in the shallow area and avoid the middle of the river where it's easier to get swept away by the current.

This comes just a day after a fisherman on the Umpqua found the body of Drake Wallace, 18, who drowned one week earlier. His body was discovered about four miles downstream from where he went under while he was swimming from friends.

Monday, Sheriff's department officials announced that the body of the first resident to drown in the Umpqua River system this year was found and recovered as well.