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Ripon Fire, Sheriff's searching river for Elk Grove man

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POSTED July 19, 2013 1:03 p.m.

RIPON – Firefighters and Sheriff’s deputies continue to search the Stanislaus River near Caswell Memorial State Park for a 19-year-old who went missing Thursday evening.

Savon Dean of Elk Grove was last seen at 7 p.m., struggling to stay afloat in the water without a life jacket. Nearly 24 hours later, law enforcement officials fear Dean may have drowned. Divers with the Manteca-Lathrop Fire Department began combing the depths of the river at 4:30 p.m. on Friday.

San Joaquin County Sheriff’s spokesman Les Garcia said Dean and an unidentified friend had gone into the river with intertubes at about 2 p.m. The friend returned to the Caswell Park campgrounds five hours later and alerted family members that Dean needed help. 

Dean’s mother and friend alerted emergency personnel, and her 9-1-1 call suggested Dean might be marooned on an island in the middle of the river. Searchers in watercraft and a CHP helicopter were unable to locate the man in or around the river.  The San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Boating Safety Unit, in conjunction with the Ripon and Manteca-Lathrop fire departments, have continued their search on Friday.

Manteca-Lathrop firefighters Mike Isham and Shawn Wootten spent the afternoon and early evening searching points along the river where the victim was last seen, according Manteca-Lathrop Fire Chief Gene Neely.

 The Bulletin will update this story as new information is made available.

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