Search called off for 4 hunters missing in backcountry

Posted at 8:58 AM, May 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-30 10:58:06-04

The Idaho County Sheriff says he is calling off the search for four missing hunters whose vehicle overturned into the Selway River west of Darby last week.

Idaho County Sheriff Doug Giddings told MTN News that after Tuesday there will not be anyone from his office remaining at the remote site.

The accident happened last Monday. The group of six was in an SUV when it crashed and rolled into the Selway River.

Two of the men swam to safety but the other four, including a man from Bozeman, are still missing.

Giddings said that at this point search efforts are unlikely to be successful. 

“There comes an end to everything that happens and the likelihood that the search is going to come up with anything at this point is very unlikely and at some point you have to say, okay, how long you want to search? What happens now? We will deal with whatever happens. Maybe that’s a good way to answer it. If the bodies are in the river they will eventually come up and someone will see them and they will call us and we will go recover the bodies.”

Giddings added that this is a really sad case for their Sheriff’s office and that tough river conditions make that area difficult to search.

Authorities have not released the names of the men at this point.

(MAY 23, 2018) The Ravalli County Sheriff’s Office is currently assisting in the search for four hunters that are missing in Idaho County, Idaho.

The four hunters went missing after their SUV rolled over into the Selway River on Monday. Two other hunters that were also in the vehicle at the time of the accident were able to make it safely to shore. The cause of the accident is still unknown.

Idaho County Sheriff Doug Giddings says they have had a difficult time getting to the vehicle which has hurt their ability to locate the hunters.

"We haven’t determined yet what caused the accident but the vehicle ended up in the river," Giddings said. "At this point, that’s where we are. We cant get to it right now. We are looking at different options, different possibilities at this moment. No, we don’t have somebody out there trying to hook on to it."

Two Bear Air and a LifeFlight helicopter were requested to assist in the search. Two Bear Air was able to locate and move the two known occupants to a nearby outfitter camp. 

Ravalli County Sheriff’s deputies and Ravalli County Search and Rescue responded to the area to assist with the air operations.

Two Bear Air flew the river looking for remaining individuals but found none. Ravalli County Steve Holton says that due to high-water and fast moving conditions it is not safe to remove the vehicle to check for the other occupants.  

Clearwater County Back Country Helicopter and Idaho County Sheriff’s Office personnel and Search and Rescue are responding to the area and will continue looking for the occupants and search for ways to safely remove the vehicle from the river.

The names of the four missing people have not been released pending notification of their families.

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