Divers fail to find body

January 09, 2007 11:00 pm
Del Norte County Sheriff dive team member Evelyn Santillan assists diver Caleb Chadwick (in water) as he prepares to search an area of the Smith River under the Hiouchi Bridge for missing angler Chester Bolen on Tuesday. (The Daily Triplicate/Bryant Anderson).
Del Norte County Sheriff dive team member Evelyn Santillan assists diver Caleb Chadwick (in water) as he prepares to search an area of the Smith River under the Hiouchi Bridge for missing angler Chester Bolen on Tuesday. (The Daily Triplicate/Bryant Anderson).

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By Nicholas Grube

Triplicate Staff Writer

The object law enforcement officials thought might be the body of Chester Bolen, the Crescent City man who fell in the Smith River last week, turned out to be nothing.

On Tuesday, divers searched the area of the river where, the previous day, police located something that resembled a body.

"We sent three divers into the water in different areas," said Del Norte County Sheriff's Department Commander Bill Stevens. "And each drew a big zero."

"We're back to square one," Del Norte County Sheriff Dean Wilson said of the search for Bolen.

However, the chances of finding Bolen alive are slight.

The 39-year-old Bolen was fishing in a drift boat with Steven Restad, 39, of Eugene, when their anchor fell overboard, became caught and something and dragged the boat under the flowing river water.

Restad swam to safety. Bolen was seen last seen struggling to stay afloat and while being carried downstream.

"I doubt very much we'll find him alive," Wilson said.

Bolen's body probably is stuck somewhere under the river because it typically would have surfaced by now, Wilson said.

"There are literally thousands of places were things can get hung up," he said, adding that it could be days or even weeks before Bolen's body is found.

But as the river level falls and the water's clarity improves,the chances of finding Bolen's body also increases, he said.