Report of victim in Nooksack River proves false

Everson-Nooksack firefighters and Whatcom County Sheriff’s deputies searched the Nooksack River near Riverside Park late Sunday, July 18, after a 37-year-old man reported that his 40-year-old girlfriend had fallen into the water and disappeared.

But the report later proved unfounded and the girlfriend was found at an Everson address, said Undersheriff Jeff Parks. Nevertheless, deputies, Everson police and volunteer firefighters scoured the river for more than 90 minutes, said Chief Mel Blankers of Whatcom County Fire District 1, which serves the Everson-Nooksack area.

“We did go search the river a few times,” Blankers said. “We used a thermal imaging camera and didn’t find anything.”

Blankers said firefighters were dispatched about 7:30 p.m. Sunday, when a man yelled from the south side of the river to people on the north bank, saying his girlfriend had disappeared and he was afraid she had gone under the water.

Parks said the man and woman had been camping in the area and the man was under the influence of drugs. The pair argued and she left,

Blankers said the crew of a rescue boat, an ambulance and an engine company searched without result until about 9 p.m. Their efforts were hampered by thick brush along the riverbank west of downtown, Blankers said.

Robert Mittendorf: 360-756-2805, @goMittygo