Man rescued after getting stuck in river bed and overtaken with water

Graham County Search and Rescue along with authorities from Thatcher and the Graham County Sheriff’s office rescued a man who had gotten stuck in the Gila River bed on Saturday night at approximately 10:30 p.m. The man called his family and said that he was stuck in the area of the river but did not know his location. He reported that he had gotten stuck and his vehicle was overtaken by water.

Due to the excessive water flowing in the river due to the rain, Graham County Search and Rescue was called out to locate the man. Several friends and family members were out looking for the man, and authorities requested that they not drive into the river area because of the flooding water. Authorities were able to contact the man by cell phone to try and determine his location. The man said that he wasn’t sure where he was but he had driven east from 1st Avenue in Thatcher, trying to come out in the area of the Safford movie theater. He said that his vehicle slid off into a wash area and was overtaken with water.

The man was located approximately 1/4 mile east of 1st Avenue  by a farmer who works the surrounding crops. Search and Rescue members made their way to the location and were able to pull the man from his disabled vehicle. The vehicle was sunk down in the wash and water was flowing through the passenger area.

The man refused medical attention and was taken from the scene by a family member. He said that he would retrieve his vehicle when the water level subsided.