On 08-16-2012, approximately 10:00 p.m. the Humboldt County Sheriffs Office received a call from the owner of Six Rivers Rafting Company who reported four rafters failed to return from a rafting trip on the Trinity River. The citizen told the Sheriff’s Office Douglas Meyer, 50 years old from Florissant, Missouri rented the raft at approximately 12:30 noon on Thursday, August 16th, 2012. The citizen told the investigating Deputy Meyer, along with three other individuals and a small dog, were dropped off at the bridge at Trinity-Humboldt County Line. The group rented a 12 foot long bright red colored raft. The raft had all appropriate rafting gear, including life vests with the companies name on them. The group also had food and water with them. The citizen told the group that the trip should take approximately four hours, and they intended to get out of the river at Kimtu campground. They were expected to return the raft at approximately 5:00 p.m. The citizen went looking for them and located Meyer’s vehicle at Kimtu campground. After failing to find them the citizen called law enforcement.
The Sheriffs Office Search and Rescue was notified and is actively searching the river for the missing rafters. All four rafters were located at 9:15 a.m. by a Deputy Sheriff. They told the deputy they became lost and camped waiting for daylight. They were unfamiliar with the area. They were located approximately two hundred yards from the Willow Creek airstrip, where they had camped for the night. They and their dog were all in good health. The rafting company is in the process of retrieving their raft.
The other three missing people who were located have been identified as Jordan Stuart, 18 years old and Nicole Meyer, 19 years old from Eureka and Kimberly Hollenberg, 45 years old from Hazelwood, Missouri.
The Sheriff’s Office would like to remind the public that as the weather heats up and they recreate at local rivers to use caution. The rivers are still high, cold and swift. Do not swim alone, alcoholic beverages and swimming do not mix. If you have small children watch them closely, they can be swept downstream quickly. Many of the river bottoms have changed over the winter months, many times there can be sudden steep drop offs near shallow areas. Have cell phones and life vests or other floatation devices available. Veteran swimmers have lost their lives in local rivers which are swift, fast and cold.