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Search is called off for boy missing in Santa Ana River

January 21, 2010 |  6:45 pm

Rescue workers spent more than two hours this afternoon searching for a teenage boy last spotted in the turbulent, rain-swollen Santa Ana River, but were unable to find him.

Capt. Edward Engler, a spokesman for the Orange Fire Department, said two boys were seen in the river near Glassell Street in north Orange about 2:20 p.m. Rescue workers pulled out one of the boys, who suffered minor injuries, but the boy said a friend was still in the river.

A host of police and fire agencies – using boats, helicopters and thermal-imaging cameras – scoured the river all the way to the Pacific Ocean, a distance of nearly 20 miles, but found no sign of the boy and called off the search, Engler said.

Engler said it was possible the boy had made it to shore safely on his own. “We like to think that was the case,” he said. “It’s just that there’s a lot of water in the river, and it’s moving very quickly. It’s treacherous.”

--Christopher Goffard in Orange County