Mono County Sheriff Search & Rescue Mission-Rainbow Falls

Rainbow Falls

Date:              August 25, 2016
RE:                 Mono County Sheriff Search and Rescue Mission – Rainbow Falls

On Sunday, August 21, at approximately 4:15 p.m., the Mono County Sheriff’s Office received a call regarding an adult male who had jumped into the San Joaquin River at Lower Rainbow Falls, which is located in Red’s Meadow in Madera County. It was reported that the male was floating face down in the water. Extremely cold water temperatures and underwater current prohibited witnesses from reaching the victim. It was determined by emergency first responders on scene that the victim was deceased.

A second victim was found sitting at the bottom of a steep incline near the pool. The second victim had attempted to rescue the first victim and was suffering from hypothermia as a result of being in the water which was estimated to be 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Mono County Sheriff Deputies, Mono County Sheriff Search and Rescue, Mono County Paramedics, and Mammoth Lakes Fire Department were able to rescue the second victim.

Efforts to rescue the first victim were unsuccessful as the victim had submerged in the pool and was no longer visible to emergency personnel. Recovery efforts were put on hold as darkness fell as a safety precaution. The Mono County Sheriff’s Office staffed the scene overnight until recovery efforts resumed the following morning.

On August 22, at approximately 11:00 a.m., the decedent was recovered by Madera County Sheriff’s Department, Mono County Sheriff’ Office, Mono County Sheriff Search and Rescue, Mammoth Lakes Fire Department. The Mammoth Mountain Ski Area provided personnel and logistical support for the recovery effort.

The Mono County Sheriff’s Office wants to remind the public to be aware and cautious when enjoying all the Eastern Sierra has to offer. Our thoughts and sincere condolences are extended to the friends and families affected by this terrible incident.

Reported by: Amber Weller, Public Information Officer