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Crews searching river for missing man

NOW: Crews searching river for missing man

SOUTH BEND, IN – Indiana Conservation Officers are now investigating a missing man in the river. The man was last seen at the base of the East Race River. 

Indiana Conservation Officer Ashlee Jackson says the victim was a white male in his early 40s. Two witnesses were with the victim when the incident happened, they say he slipped into the river when he was trying to retrieve his shoes. 

South Bend Fire Department was dispatched to the area around 6:30 Saturday morning. 

Fire Chief Mark Catanzarite says their initial response was to see if the man was on the surface of the water. 

The fire department's entire team was on scene. Catanzarite says both water rescue surface specialists and divers searched the river. He says they searched the entire shoreline to Angela Bridge. 

At 7:35 Saturday morning, first responders went to recovery mode. Because at that point, the man was unlikely to have survived, according to Catanzarite. 

The South Bend Fire Department finished its search around 8 a.m. Saturday morning, until Indiana Conservation Officers took over. 

Five Indiana Conservation Officers were searching the river as of 10:30 Saturday morning. 

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