Family Releases Video of Teen Being Swept Away by American River; Organizes Search

The water looks inviting. It's easy to see why Ray Cabalfin would have been tempted to jump in.

Four friends were out for a hike on the Lake Clementine Trail last Thursday, when two decided to brave the rushing waters of the American River.

In the video, the young woman makes it in and out with no problem. But 19-year-old Cabalfin jumps out farther. He can be seen fighting against the current, but he stays above the water. It appears to his friends that he has things under control -- and in an instant they realized he did not.

That was the last time anyone is known to have seen Ray Cabalfin.

"I couldn't help him," said Ray's mother, Maria Cabalfin.

Ray's mother tells us she couldn't watch the video more than once, but she and his friends decided to release it to the public, to bring attention to his disappearance and rally the community to search for him.

"I just don't feel that he's gone," Maria Cabalfin said.

"That was hard to see," said California Parks Ranger Scott Liske.

Liske has seen a lot of tragic situations along the American River, but he tells FOX40 he couldn't help but be moved when he watched the video of rushing water sweep Ray away.

He warns people to stay away from the river unless they're with a licensed outfitter with a sturdy life vest. But says if you find yourself in the water, don't fight the current.

"Try to go feet first with the current and not hit your head," Liske said.

Liske says park rangers will be back out on the water searching for Ray Cabalfin on Friday, assisted by CHP air patrols, but he acknowledges it's a search and recovery effort -- he believes they're past rescue.

"Yes, but there's still a search," said Maria Cabalfin.

The family is trying to get as many volunteers as possible out to search Thursday at 10:30 a.m. Get more information, here.