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37-year-old Spokane man drowns in Pend Oreille River near Ione

Authorities initially received a call about a man who was last seen trying to remove a log entangled in dock line on the Pend Oreille River.

PEND OREILLE COUNTY, Wash. — Authorities are warning people to be careful on the water after a 37-year-old Spokane man drowned in the Pend Oreille River on Friday.

This comes about one week after three men drowned in the Spokane River during separate incidents. 

Emergency units responded to the 600 block of Larch Lane near Ione, Washington, at about 6:30 p.m. on Friday, July 3, according to Pend Oreille County Undersheriff Geoff Rusho. They received a call about a missing 37-year-old man who was last seen trying to remove a log entangled in a dock line. 

Fire crews and units from the Pend Oreille County Sheriff’s Patrol and Marine Divisions spent Friday night looking for the man without success. High water and current flow added to the difficulty of the search, Rusho said. 

Local property owners were asked to check their docks and shoreline. 

On Saturday morning, marine units and the Spokane County Sheriff's Office dive leader continued searching for the missing man. His body was later found about 50 feet from the dock downstream in about six feet of water.

Family members were notified and identified John A. Nelson, 37, of Spokane as the deceased person.

Rusho said the drowning and its contributing factors are still under investigation. 

The sheriff's office reminded people that waters are still not at summer conditions. The river is colder and at higher levels than normal for this time of year and debris is floating downstream. 

RELATED: Three men drowned in Spokane River within a week

RELATED: Group of strangers tried to save Spokane man drowned in Lake Coeur d'Alene

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