A California man who was swimming in the Colorado River upstream of Moab earlier this week is believed to have drowned, but search and rescue teams had not found his body as of mid-day Wednesday, Aug. 24.

The 21-year-old man, whose name has not been released to the media, was last seen swimming without a life jacket in the Big Bend area about 7 miles upstream of Moab on Monday, Aug. 22.

He had been swimming through a stretch of whitewater and was in calmer water when he went underwater approximately 20 feet from the riverbank. Water temperature at the time was 74 degrees Fahrenheit.

Grand County Sheriff’s dispatchers received a report of a possible drowning near the Big Bend Campground at about 6 p.m. that afternoon. Grand County Sheriff’s Office; Grand County Search and Rescue; and Classic Lifeguard Helicopter crews responded to the scene.

The sheriff’s office flew a drone over the area, and lights and spotters were set up on the river to monitor it overnight. The search continued on Tuesday, Aug. 23, and Wednesday, Aug. 24, with Grand County Search and Rescue and National Park Service boats in the river.

California man last seen in Big Bend area