Search for American River swimmer suspended, Placer County authorities say

A search effort for a swimmer who was swept down the American River east of Auburn was suspended Tuesday night, authorities said.

The Placer County Sheriff’s Office had received a report just after 5 p.m. Tuesday of a man hanging onto a tree and yelling for help at the confluence of the river’s north and middle forks, sheriff’s spokeswoman Angela Musallam said.

The search effort by Placer County Sheriff’s water rescue teams, Cal Fire and helicopters was suspended just after 9 p.m. Tuesday. Officials “will continue to monitor the river over the next several days,” the sheriff’s office said in a tweet.

A deputy at the scene reportedly spotted the man being swept down the river near the Highway 49 bridge, then lost sight of him, Musallam said.

Musallam encouraged people to stay away from the river, which is still cold and running fast.

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Michael McGough anchors The Sacramento Bee’s breaking news reporting team, covering public safety and other local stories. A Sacramento native and lifelong capital resident, he interned at The Bee while attending Sacramento State, where he earned a degree in journalism.