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Search continues for missing boater, family waits

By Colin Steiner, csteiner@krcrtv.com
Published On: Aug 06 2014 10:07:24 AM CDT
Updated On: Jul 21 2014 09:08:38 PM CDT
REDDING, Calif. -

The search continued all day Monday for a man who went missing after his boat flipped Sunday afternoon on the Sacramento River in Redding.

30 family members and friends of 33-year-old Kao Liam Saefong held vigil at the South Bonnyview Boat Launch, near where he went missing, as Shasta County Sheriff's Office dive crews and a CHP helicopter scoured the water looking for the missing man.

"We're looking at any natural strainers, eddies, slack water where something can get hung up," said Lieutenant Tom Campbell with the Shasta County Sheriff's Office.

Seafong was with another unidentified man when both were dumped into the swift and cool waters; while his companion was pulled to safety by a drift boat, Saefong disappeared.

"The water is very very cold. You get into the river without wanting to get in the river, let's say your raft, your boat flips over, you get cold very quickly, it takes your breath away, and you begin to struggle very quickly," Campbell said.

What's more, Saefong was unable to swim and without a life jacket.

"So the best advice I can give anybody that's on the river is wear a life vest because you never know what's going to happen," Campbell said.

While authorities searched about a mile long stretch of river, Lieutenant Campbell said it's unknown how far down Saefong may be or how soon he may be found.

"We've had some where people don't make it too far down river and we've had some that have been out of the county. So it all depends on the river dynamics and the flow."