A photo provided by the Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office shows search units looking for 47-year-old Robert Lewis at Shackleford Falls. His body was found Sunday afternoon.

A photo provided by the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office shows search units looking for 47-year-old Robert Lewis at Shackleford Falls. His body was found Sunday afternoon.

Courtesy of Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office

A Northern California man drowned while trying to rescue his two dogs from punishing waterfalls, local officials said Monday. 

Robert Lewis, a 47-year-old resident of the small Siskiyou County town of Montague, was visiting Shackleford Falls, a 14-foot waterfall in Klamath National Forest, with his wife and two dogs Saturday morning.

Lewis went into the waterfall’s base to rescue his two dogs from the water, the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement Monday, and was shortly after “swept under by the strong current and did not resurface.”

Multiple agencies were then sent to find Lewis — among them, the sheriff’s office search and rescue team and dive unit and Cal Fire’s water rescue unit. But the search was made more difficult by a torrent of rain overnight, creating increased water flow and “unsafe diving conditions, even for experienced swimmers,” the sheriff’s office said. 

Rescue divers were sent on flotation devices downstream, and a sheriff’s county water search canine “signaled the area of the pool” where Lewis may have drowned Sunday morning. His body was found and recovered at about 1:50 p.m.

A representative for the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from SFGATE. 



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