Search Resumes In River, ‘Group Float’ Blamed

by Danielle Cotterman on July 25, 2011 at 5:08 am

Search crews continue their search efforts in the Muskingum River for the third day after a man who had been tubing with a group of friends went missing Saturday afternoon.

Officials said 41-year-old Troy Hindel of Frazeysburg was just south of the Dresden area holding onto a raft in the river with a group of friends when the person closest to him saw him go under twice, not resurfacing the second time. Local Campers described the situation as a ‘Group Float’ where upwards of 50 people will link rafts and inter-tubes together to float down stream. Local Camper, Curtis Kincheloe has taken part in similar floats for the past ten years and said it’s not uncommon to see 15 to 20 groups float by any given weekend.

"We just don’t get you know too drunk," said Kincheloe. "We may have a few drinks to relax or whatever but it doesn’t get out of hand in anyway."

Dresden Fire Chief, Carl Archer said the ‘Group Floats’ are growing in popularity with groups launching their floats into the Dresden and Coshocton areas, where water levels tend to be low and slow moving. However, Archer said the conditions can still be very dangerous, especially when alcohol is involved,

"People tend to think it can’t happen to me and that’s when there is something that does occur out of the usual," said Archer. ‘It can occur with anyone even if you can swim."

Dresden Patrol Boats continued the search for Hindel Monday. Archer said efforts will eventually need to be called off due to exhausted crews and resources. Hindel is believed to have drowned.