The body of a man was found in the Spokane River near T.J. Meenach Bridge on Tuesday afternoon following reports of a missing inner-tuber, according to Spokane Fire Department Chief Brian Schaeffer.
At 4 p.m., 34 rescue crew workers responded to a report of a missing person who was floating the river on an inner tube. A group of inner-tubers called 911 after losing sight of one of their members, a man in his 40s, who was last seen near the Sandifur Memorial Bridge downriver from downtown Spokane. He was not wearing a life jacket, Schaeffer said, which is illegal.
Callers to 911 said the man’s tube floated down the river, but he wasn’t on it.
Spokane Fire Department water rescue crews using more than five kayaks began to enter the water near the bridge when a second call of a water-related issue was reported to 911 near the T.J. Meenach Bridge. The rescue crew split up, not knowing if the call was related, and treated it as two water rescues.
Raft crews floated the river and land crews walked the banks of the river. Crews found the body of the man face down in an eddy of water near the T.J. Meenach Bridge, Schaeffer said.
Schaeffer confirmed the two incidents were related.
As a precaution, the Spokane Police Department is treating the incident as a crime scene. The identity of the man found in the water had not been released as of Tuesday evening.
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