The Rockingham County Sheriff’s office said nine people went tubing Wednesday evening on the Dan River but at some point, several of the tubes came untied and some floated over the Duke Energy dam around 7 p.m.
Four of the nine were found by construction workers around 3:30 p.m. on Thursday. They were “hanging onto various items,” according to the construction workers.
The rescued tubers were taken to the hospital for treatment, however, their status was not disclosed.
Three bodies were found Thursday night, according to the Rockingham County Emergency Services Director Rodney Cates.
“We’re going to stay positive that we can do a rescue rather than a recovery,” Cates said about the two remaining missing tubers.
Officials said the search for the two others will pick back up Friday morning. The investigation runs from Rockingham County all the way to the Virginia borderline.
“We have done both an air and water search at this time. We’ve had an aircraft that has flown the river. They flew 6 miles into Virginia, they came back widened their perimeter and flew the ground area adjacent to the river,” Cates said.
Tubing is a “regular activity” in the area, but people are discouraged to tube near the dam considering there is a “pretty steep drop” over the dam, authorities told ABC News.
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