June 18 (UPI) -- Authorities in North Carolina said search and rescue crews scouring the Dan River for a group of tubers who went over a dam a day earlier retrieved three bodies while two other people were still missing.
"I can confirm we have three recoveries off the river at this time, potentially two more victims -- hopefully they'll be rescues and not recoveries but at this time we don't know," Rockingham County Emergency Services Director Rodney Cates said during a press conference late Thursday.
Cates said planes will be taking another pass of "areas of interest" for the missing tubers before the search would be called off for the night to restart again at 7 a.m. Friday.
Three of the missing five individuals from the Dan River search have been located and recovered (deceased). Two are still missing at this point.— Rockingham County Sheriff's Office (N.C.) (@rockcosheriff) June 18, 2021
The Rockingham County Sheriff's Office said a group of nine people tubing on the river went over an eight-foot Duke Energy dam in Eden, near the Virginia border, at around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, WTVD reported.
Four people from the group were found alive by Duke Energy employees on Thursday at about 3:30 p.m. who called 911, prompting the search, authorities said, adding those rescued were sent to hospitals for treatment.
"We're going to stay positive that we can do a rescue rather than a recovery, and we're going to stay positive until we find out otherwise," Cates said.
The identities of the deceased were not identified.