Teens found safe, reunited with parents after river raft pops - KPTV - FOX 12

Teens found safe, reunited with parents after river raft pops

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VANCOUVER, WA (KPTV) -

Two teenagers who were reported missing after floating the East Fork of the Lewis River were found safe and reunited with their parents Tuesday morning.

Austin Butler, 18, of Vancouver, and Sampson Langworthy, 18, of Ridgefield, left Daybreak Park at 6 p.m. Monday.

They intended to float down the river to a private takeout near the old Pioneer Cemetery. Though they planned to make landing before dark, they never arrived, and their concerned parents reported them missing at 12:30 a.m.

Butler and Langworthy were both wearing lifejackets, but neither carried a cell phone.

Ground search teams and an aircraft with FLIR capability searched for the teens overnight, but found no sign of them.

At about 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, Butler and Langworthy knocked on the door of a farmhouse on J.A. Moore Road.

They told deputies that their small raft popped about two hours into their trip and they were force to walk and swim to continue downstream. That proved to be difficult on slippery rocks and shallow water, so they made very slow progress.

When darkness set in, they sought shelter in some trees along the river bank and spent the night.

Though they could hear search teams calling and the aircraft circling, they weren't able to make contact with either.

Other than bug bites and bramble scratches, they were uninjured.

Deputies said wearing lifejackets proved to be a smart idea because they remained buoyant when swimming and stayed warmer overnight.

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