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Search Crews Find Body of Missing Swimmer in New River Gorge

Sandstone Falls along the New River
New River Gateway

The National Park Service began searching for an Illinois man who disappeared while swimming in a rapids area Thursday, August 24th, with friends in West Virginia. His body was retrieved Friday evening.

New River Gorge National River said in a news release Friday that 28-year-old Abdulrahman Binomran of Oak Park, Illinois, was swimming with three friends in the pool above Fayette Station rapids when they decided to swim through the rapids. The release said the friends were able to make it to shore, but Binomran was not and disappeared just downstream. None of the swimmers was wearing a life jacket.

A search began Thursday evening and resumed Friday morning. Trained search and rescue divers from other agencies were also involved. Strong under currents, murky water, and boulders made for difficult searching conditions, but rescue teams were able to find Binomran 18 feet underneath water, pinned under a boulder, not far from where he was last seen. 

The Park Service said New River water levels and conditions change quickly, and flotation devices are essential for safety. The park reports this is the second drowning in two weeks.

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