High water may hamper search for Layton boy

Posted at 8:16 PM, Apr 28, 2012
and last updated 2012-05-01 13:21:37-04

OGDEN -- Search teams continue to search for the 4-year-old boy who was swept down the Weber River over the weekend.

Searchers returned Tuesday morning to resume looking for the body of Corbin Anderson. However, with the water level rising, no dive teams will be used due to the high-water hazard.

They will be using kayaks to search along the banks of the river.  They are focusing on the three-mile stretch from 17th to 24th streets.

Several agencies, including Ogden Fire Search and Rescue, Weber County Search and Rescue, Davis County Search and Rescue, Weber County Search and Rescue and the Utah Highway Patrol were involved in the recovery effort.

Officials with the Weber County Sheriff's Office say the Corbin's family was taking photos near the river on Saturday when he fell into the water near 300 West and 24th Street at around 5:45 p.m.

His father jumped into the river behind the boy, but he was unable to grab him in the fast, cold water.

The search has become a recovery effort. Crews halted their search just before 9 p.m. Saturday and resumed at around 5:45 a.m. Sunday to search as much of the river as possible before nightfall.

More than 60 people were involved in the search for the boy on Sunday, using both kayaks in the water and walking along the side of the river to look.

"They are gridding the river out. We have had kayakers along the river, we have had walkers along the river all the way to 17th Street," said Lt. Danielle Croyle, Ogden Police Dept.

Officials said they'd already searched the surface of the river for the boy with dogs, walkers and a helicopter, and Sunday's search focused under the water's surface.

"We've actually been able to drop the water level quite a bit from what it was last night. We're continuing to hope it drops further," said Lt. Mark Lowther, Weber County Sheriff's Office.

The cold, fast-moving water, however, is slowing the search effort. Crews say the water is about 47 degrees.

"When we put the divers in the water with the current and the temperature, they're only able to stay in the water for so long before we have to pull them out and give them a break," said Lowther.

Rescuers say that in their experience, the boy's body wouldn't have traveled far, so divers focused on the area immediately downstream from where the boy fell.

"Anything's possible. He could have been taken downstream. But with the logs and the rocks and debris in the river, we feel that most likely he's closer to where he went into the water," said Lowther.

There is no time frame set for how long searchers will continue to search.