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One found as search continues

September 5, 2018

Authorities say they have found one of four missing boaters from a crash that occurred on the Colorado River near Topock late on Saturday.

Mohave County Sheriff’s Office said they found the body of Christine Lewis, 51, of Visalia, Calif. at around 7:30 a.m. on Monday.

The crash occured between Pirates Cove and the Topock Marina as the sun was setting, just after 8 p.m. on Saturday. Two boats, one carrying 10 passengers and the other six, collided head on ejecting all involved in the water. Both boats sank and passing boats were able to help a number of people from the water, with nine total sent to area hospitals. Two of those nine were flown to Las Vegas in critical condition. None of the boaters were wearing life vests.

Three of the boaters, two women and one man, are still missing. The sheriff’s office said it will continue the search in the morning. The river will be closed to all traffic from Topock Gorge to the Sand Bar. There will be no through access to the area.

Divers from the sheriff’s departments in Mohave County and San Bernardino County have been searching the area, with the fast-moving water carrying debris far downstream.

A San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department dive team member was hospitalized on Monday after sufferingminor injuries from a dive-related illness. The detective has been helping the past two days in dive operations, taking part in more than 10 dives. He is an experienced diver and has served on the department’s dive team for more than 15 years.

The detective was taken by ambulance to Lake Havasu Municipal Airport, where he was flown to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton, Calif. He is expected to have a full recovery and was only admitted as a precautionary measure.

More than 30 divers conducted underwater searches on Sunday, dealing with a heavy current and 100-degree temperatures. The dive team has covered more than five miles of waterway from the Park Moabi Channel to Topock Gorge.

Helicopters were deployed on Sunday to help search the water’s surface and shorelines.

There have now been seven recorded deaths on the Colorado River in northwest Arizona in 2018. There were nine deaths along the stretch in 2017.

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