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Search continues for missing rafter

04/29/03

Divers will resume their search today for a Portland woman presumed drowned in a rafting accident on the Wind River near Carson, Wash.

Lauren Orton, 32, of Portland disappeared about 2:30 p.m. Sunday when the raft she had chartered with three other people hit a rock, Skamania County authorities said.

A second woman was thrown from the raft but swam to shore. Orton plunged over a four- to six-foot drop after falling out, her companions told rescuers. Her helmet and life jacket surfaced, but she did not.

The group searched for about 30 minutes before calling rescue crews. Divers from the Skamania County sheriff's office and Wind River Search and Rescue worked Sunday and all day Monday without success.

Dave Slover, owner of Maupin-based Allstar Rafting hired by Orton's party, said he could not comment on the accident.

The company's Web site says the Wind River float includes Class Four and Class Five whitewater. Six is the highest whitewater classification. -- Steve Suo



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