Montague man drowns trying to rescue dogs at Siskiyou County waterfall

Jessica Skropanic
Redding Record Searchlight

The body of a Montague man — believed to have drowned on Saturday — was found on Sunday in Shackleford Falls in Scott Valley, the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office said.

Emergency responders received a 911 call at 12:12 p.m. from a woman who said her husband fell into the water at the base of the falls and hadn't resurfaced, the sheriff’s office said.

Robert Lewis of Montague, 47, was trying to rescue two of the couple's dogs when he was swept under by the strong current, the caller said.

The family of a Montague man believed to have drown on Saturday is looking for the man's dog "Radar," right. He and German Shepherd "Chopper" were swept under the water at Shackleford Falls in Scott Valley on Saturday June 4, 2022. Their owner - Robert Lewis of Montague - drown trying to rescue them, the Siskiyou County Sheriff's office said.

Emergency responders searched the area for the rest of the day on Saturday. 

A Siskiyou County Search and Rescue canine gave the multi-agency search team a signal to look for Lewis' body in an area of the pool at the base of the waterfall, the sheriff's office said. By that time, rain and fast-flowing rising water made it too dangerous for divers to search under the pool's surface.

The search resumed on Sunday. At 1:50 p.m., California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection divers found Lewis' body under the water, the sheriff's office said.

The body of the man's German Shepherd "Chopper" washed up on shore later on Sunday, said public information officer Courtney Kreider at the sheriff's office.

The small dog — named "Radar" — wasn't found, Kreider said. The family is hoping she'll be found alive.

Jessica Skropanic is a features reporter for the Record Searchlight/USA Today Network. She covers science, arts, social issues and entertainment stories. Follow her on Twitter @RS_JSkropanic and on Facebook. Join Jessica in the Get Out! Nor Cal recreation Facebook group. To support and sustain this work, please subscribe today. Thank you.