Monday, June 13, 2016

Man Found Drowned Two Months After Disappearance

Posted By on Mon, Jun 13, 2016 at 4:46 PM

click to enlarge Paul Michael Martin
  • Paul Michael Martin
Paul Michael Martin, 22, of Hoopa, is the second confirmed drowning death of 2016. Martin went missing April 6 after jumping into the Trinity River near Tish Tang Campground. The swift current quickly swept him away, along with two of his friends. The friends were rescued. A press release sent today by the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office announced that Martin's body was found June 8 at the mouth of the Klamath River, some 60 miles away from where he entered the water.

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, Hoopa Tribal Police, the Hoopa Volunteer Fire Department and the U.S. Coast Guard spent five days searching the river for signs of Martin but suspended the search April 12. Neither the HCSO nor DNSO were immediately available to comment for this story.

Humboldt County saw 12 drowning deaths in 2015, its highest tally in seven years. On Sunday several agencies responded to Tish Tang for a report of three men clinging to rocks. The men were rescued by a Hoopa Police boat. The river is still dangerous, with cold flows and deceptively strong currents.

From the HCSO:

On Saturday, June 11, 2016 at about 2 p.m., Humboldt County Deputy Sheriff’s responded to the Tish Tang Campground for a report of a subject stuck on a rock in the middle of the river. The Hoopa Valley Tribal Police boat and medical personnel arrived on scene to assist. Three male subjects were across the river from the deputies clinging to rocks. The Hoopa Police boat, operated by Hoopa Tribal Officers, successfully rescued all three subjects. One of the subjects was taken to the local hospital for treatment. The other two subjects did not require medical treatment.

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind the public of the dangers of swimming in rivers in Humboldt County. River currents can change quickly, sometimes daily, or even by the minute. This combined with unknown and quickly changing depths of the river can be deadly. Very hot and humid days combined with low water temperatures in late spring and early fall can lead to quick cramps. Every year, Humboldt County experiences a tragic death due to swimming in the rivers and falling victim to a strong current.

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