Man’s Disappearance Highlights Stanislaus River’s Dangerous Conditions

KNIGHTS FERRY -- The dangers of the Stanislaus River lie underneath inviting and calm waters.

Among the hikers and sightseers Monday in Knights Ferry is a brave faced family desperate to find 23-year-old Josue Sanchez.

“Well, I have to stay strong for my mom,” Lluvia Sanchez, Josue’s sister said.

Lluvia said her brother went for a hike then decided to float down the river with a friend last Tuesday. She added her brother has done it before but not under these conditions.

“But I never imagined you know that this water was gonna be that dangerous and I was like, ‘Oh, OK. Be careful, have fun, be careful,’” she recalled.

His friend nearly drowned, and Josue hasn’t been seen since. Every day, the family has been waiting by the water for any sign of him and every morning so has a crew with the Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Department.

“It’s so dangerous, the water looks so different because the flows are up that the river actually takes a different shape,” Battalion Chief Eric DeHart with the Stanislaus Consolidated Fire Department explained.

Chief DeHart said his crew has searched up and down the river.

“We’ll continue to evaluate if it’s safe for us to continue to go out and search day-by-day,” he said.

Meanwhile, Sanchez’s sister doesn’t believe he’s still alive she just hopes to bring him home to Oakdale.

“I know he would do that for me,” she said.

Chief DeHart recommends that no one get in any of the rivers because they’re just too fast and unpredictable.

The family is also hoping to find someone with a drone to help with their search, they are also raising money through GoFundMe to help with their recovery efforts.