Nevada County authorities suspend search for missing Yuba River swimmer |

Nevada County authorities suspend search for missing Yuba River swimmer

Authorities this week said they’ve suspended the active search for a San Francisco man who disappeared while swimming in the South Yuba River.

Searchers returned on Monday to a waterfall about a mile upstream of the Highway 49 bridge to resume the search for Ricardo Alvarez, 37. Alvarez disappeared Aug. 19 after swimming over the waterfall. Multiple searches that included divers failed to find him, said Nevada County Sheriff’s Sgt. Mike Sullivan.

“We had them out pretty much all day,” Sullivan said of Monday’s search.

The initial search for Alvarez included a third-of-a-mile downstream from the waterfall, to Hoyt’s Crossing. Sullivan said it’s unlikely Alvarez would have passed that point.

A dive team also tried to search underneath the waterfall, though the current made it dangerous for a thorough search. That led 21 people, including a swift water dive team from Placer County, to search that area on Monday and the immediate downstream area.

Divers, however, couldn’t completely search all areas under the waterfall, Sullivan said.

“At this point it’s reached a situation where it’s beyond anything we can do,” he added.

Water flow has caused a problem for searchers. Sullivan last week asked PG&E to reduce the flow, though it made little difference. Snowmelt is affecting the water flow, and Sullivan said he doesn’t know when speeds will fall.

California State Parks and the federal Bureau of Land Management will have employees regularly check the area. The search will resume if they spot anything, Sullivan said.

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email or call 530-477-4239.

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