Jul 27, 2015

Searchers look for missing swimmer in Yellowstone

Searchers are looking for a 21-year-old Chinese man who was carried off by strong currents while swimming in the northern section of Yellowstone National Park.

Feiyang 'Isaac' Xiang
Feiyang “Isaac” Xiang, a seasonal concessionaire employee, was swimming in the Yellowstone River near its confluence with Hellroaring Creek around 11:45 a.m. Thursday, park officials said. He and three friends had been on a backpacking trip.

Xiang was in the water with two of his companions when he was pulled away from the shore by the swiftly flowing river. His friends tried to pull him back to shore, but he was swept downriver into a long stretch of rapids, park officials said.

Xiang was seen struggling to stay afloat before disappearing from view.

A member of his party found spotty cell phone reception and placed a broken 911 call to park dispatch at 12:39 p.m.

Rangers immediately responded on horseback and on foot, reaching the river around 2:44 p.m. Thursday's initial search found no sign of Xiang, described as 5 feet 6 inches tall, 140 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes.

Search efforts intensified on Friday, with approximately 40 people including a helicopter, two dog teams and 20 Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park employees — searching the Yellowstone River corridor.

Anyone with information regarding Xiang's whereabouts is asked to call Yellowstone National Park at (307)344-2643.

In a posting on Yellowstone's Facebook page, park officials said swimmers “swimmers should wear a personal floatation device and be aware of the dangers that may be present including: swift currents, extremely cold waters, and white water rapids.

The confluence of Hellroaring Creek and the Yellowstone River, near where a 21-year-old man went missing.


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