Three tubers dead, four rescued, two missing after going over 8-ft dam


Nine people went tubing in the Dan River and went over an 8-foot dam (Pictures: AP)

Three people have died, four were rescued and two remain missing after the group went tubing in a North Carolina river and went over an eight-foot dam.

Search efforts resumed on Friday morning for the two tubers who are unaccounted for from the accident on Wednesday in the Dan River. Rescue crews found a 14-year-old boy, his uncle and two cousins on Thursday afternoon and all of them were transported to a hospital to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

Three people were killed and found roughly three miles downstream of the dam. Their identities have not yet been released.

‘Though the outcome is tragic for these people that have been recovered, at least for their families, there’s some closure,’ said Rockingham County Emergency Services Director Rodney Cates, according to WFMY.

Nine people got into the river upstream from a Duke Energy dam on Wednesday just before nightfall, Cates said. They were each floating on their own tube when they went over the dam’s edge.

Cates on Friday said that the river has signage warning about the dam downstream.

‘People usually get out before the dam,’ Cates said, adding that it was still not clear why the tubers did not get out of the river before approaching the drop-off.

The mother of the 14-year-old boy who was rescued told WGHP that he was tired after floating on the river for 20 hours. The boy was fine physically and discharged from the hospital on Thursday night, but was distraught mentally.

Rescue crews on two boats and a helicopter searched the river from Duke Energy dam in Eden to the state border with Virginia.

Cates said that officials are ‘going to stay positive that we can do a rescue rather than a recovery, and we’re going to stay positive until we find otherwise’.

It is not unusual for people to go tubing on the river but most get out and walk around the dam, Cates said.

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