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Missing New River swimmer identified

Crews are searching for a man who went missing in New River Thursday. (WCHS/WVAH)

Crews are searching for a swimmer who went missing on the New River around 4:50 p.m. Thursday.

According to the National Park Service, the swimmer has been identified as Abdulrahman Binomran, 28, from Oak Park, Illinois, who is believed to have drowned while swimming Thursday in the Fayette Station rapids area of the New River.

At approximately 4:50 p.m. Thursday, Binomran was swimming with three friends in the pool above Fayette Station rapids when they decided to swim through the rapids, according to a news release from the National Park Service.

His friends were able to make it to the shore, but Binomran was not. He disappeared in the section of the river just downstream of the rapids. Julena Campbell, spokesperson for the National Park Service, said no one in the group was wearing a life jacket.

Authorities were notified immediately and a search was launched. Searchers from the National Park Service and other local agencies worked for several hours Thursday evening with no success. Search operations resumed at 8 a.m. Friday. The National Park Service is using four boats in the search efforts today, and is assisted by trained search and rescue divers and support personnel from the Beaver Volunteer Fire Department, as well as a boat and rescue personnel from the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. A total of 25 personnel are assigned to the search at this time.

Local residents and park visitors are reminded that the New River is a high volume river with swift currents, deep holes, and a rocky bottom. Water levels can change daily and conditions in even familiar areas can change quickly. Personal flotation devices, or life jackets, are essential safety items and should be worn anytime people are in or around the water, including in a boat. Most drownings in the New River involve people who didn’t plan on being in the water, the release said. Even experienced river users can become disoriented or incapacitated during an accident on the river.

For more tips on water safety while in the park, visit the National Park Service.

This story will be updated as information becomes available.

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