Search continues for Roseburg teen presumed drowned

Search continues for Roseburg teen presumed drowned »Play Video
Friends and family watch the search of the Umpqua River by divers and crews from the Douglas County Sheriff's Department dive team. Officials are looking for Drake Wallace, 18, of Roseburg, who they presumed drowned after getting pulled under by the swift water where he was swimming.

UMPQUA, Ore. -- Searchers were back at the scene near Umpqua on Monday, where a Roseburg teen disappeared Sunday afternoon while trying to swim across the Umpqua River.

The Douglas County Sheriff's dive team and Marine Patrol officers searched the river downstream from where Drake Wallace, 18, was last seen. Wallace and some friends tried to swim across to the west side of the river.

Many friends and family members were out on the riverbank holding out hope, but searchers have had no luck in locating the teen.

He was last seen about 4:30 p.m. Sunday, when he went underwater in the rapids.

Scott Batsch, one of the divers, says the currents in the area are tough enough for divers, and without a life vest you have very little chance if you go under.

Batsch pleads with people to take precautions when going in the water. "Please wear your vest," he said. "Go out, wear your vest, have a good time and be safe. Lots of strong currents and the water is cool, and it takes your strength pretty quickly."

Deputy Dwes Hutson of the Sheriff's office says they can't stress enough how dangerous the river can be with the current conditions. "There's no easy way to say this. Every year we try to tell people be careful because the river is dangerous this time of year," said Hutson. "There can be obstacles underground that can snag you. The current can be strong and you can get sucked under, so you need to know what the conditions are, what your limitations are."

He recommends wearing a flotation device in the river, even if you think you don't need one.

Drake, who was a month shy of his 19th birthday, was a 2010 graduate of Roseburg High School. He was actively involved in the Roseburg Indian Marching Band while he was in school.

He is the second person to go missing while recreating in a Douglas County River in the last month. An Idleyld Park man drowned in the North Umpqua last month, and his body has not been found.

Facebook photo of Drake Wallace, 18, presumed drowned in the Umpqua River.