COLUMBUS, Ind. — Rescue crews from the Bartholomew Water Rescue Team and Indiana Department of Natural Resources resumed their search early this morning for a 27-year-old Kalamazoo, Mich., man who disappeared in the Flatrock River while kayaking Sunday.
They are searching for Enrique Quinonez, whose kayak capsized in floodwaters at about 11:20 a.m. A friend, Alex Cruz, 27, Columbus, was in another kayak and jumped into the water to pull Quinonez to a tree. Quinonez lost his grasp on the tree and slipped under the water as Cruz hung on to another tree nearby, according to searchers.
Neither man was wearing a flotation device and Quinonez could not swim, said DNR spokesman Jet Quillen.
The searchers are focusing in an area near the Eighth Street bridge in Mill Race Park where Quinonez disappeared, using side-scan sonar provided by the DNR to pick up objects in the water. The sheriff's department water rescue team is using a drag bar, a 4-5 foot pole with hooks that is dragged along the bottom of the river, trying to locate the victim.
Searchers say the Flatrock River has dropped about 3 feet from Sunday to today, but the current is still too strong to allow divers into the water. Rain and thunderstorms forecast for later today may cause them to suspend the search for safety reasons.
For more on this story, see Tuesday's Republic.