Sam Ginn, a former Chehalis resident who now lives in Tacoma, received overwhelming response from his on-line post late last week aimed at marshalling volunteer support to continue the search effort. Ginn has brought together expert divers and sonar equipment to search and hopefully recover the body of 18-year old Zach Hines-Rager who went missing in the river after jumping off the train trestle near the Willapa Hills Trail on March 23rd.
Hines-Rager and three friends were reportedly on the trail crossing the Chehalis River two weeks ago Tuesday when they went onto a railroad trestle bridge and Hines-Rager reportedly told his friends that he wanted to jump in, something family says he had done before.
It’s believed Hines-Rager lost consciousness soon after being submerged in the cold river water. During the unsuccessful search by Lewis County sheriff’s deputies and Thurston County Dive team members, Lewis County Sheriff’s Chief Dusty Breen warned that the river water is extremely cold. The water can cause a person to go into cold-water shock, which is a physical response to sudden immersion in cold water that can occur in water up to 77 degrees, but is most common in water 59 degrees or colder.
Fire District 6 Fire Chief Ken Cardinale says submerged river debris creates underwater hazards, that along with hypothermia can be dangerous.
He says additional signage at river access points detailing all river hazards is important to prevent future tragedies.
Ginn, a captain of an ocean rescue crew, has been involved in the recovery of 6 lost loved ones over the past few years.