According to local sources, police were on the scene advising people not to tube the river, but few tubers heeded them. The victim was a non-swimmer who was not wearing a PFD.
Body pulled from Deerfield River identified as Shanara Henry of Springfield
by The Republican Newsroom
Thursday August 06, 2009, 4:15 PM
CHARLEMONT - Massachusetts State Police Thursday confirmed the body found by the Deerfield River on Wednesday was that of 18-year-old Shanara Henry, of Springfield. Henry was last seen Saturday when she fell into the river while tubing with a group of 10 friends. Her tube flipped in the heavy current and she was throw into the water. She was not wearing a life jacket, and friends told officials she did not know how to swim. Her disappearance triggered a massive search along both banks of the river from Saturday afternoon through Wednesday when her body was found along the banks of the river by South River Road.
Teen missing on Deerfield River
[ Originally published on: Monday, August 03, 2009 ]
CHARLMEMONT -- Police are still looking for a young woman who went missing Saturday afternoon after her tube tipped over on the fast-flowing Deerfield River. Police would not release the name of the person they were searching for, but a Springfield television station reported that Shanara Henry of Springfield, 18, a recent graduate of Central High School, had gone missing on the Deerfield River in Charlemont.
According to the Web site AmericanWhitewater.org, which uses readings of river flow taken by the United States Geological Survey on the Deerfield River, south of the center of the village of Charlemont, the river peaked at 9,470 cubic feet per second at 12:28 a.m. Saturday. By 3:44 p.m., the river had slowed to 6,060 cfs.
Every couple of years, the river flows as high as about 6,000 cfs during the summer, but it's more typical for the river to be flowing at 700 cfs to 800 cfs, said Kevin McMillan, director of guided tours for Zoar Outdoor, which had volunteers help with the search for the missing woman. Typically, TransCanada utility company controls the flow of the river, releasing water from dams for boating at various times. But on days like Saturday, the river overflows the retention ponds at dams, McMillan said.
About 4 p.m. on Saturday, the young woman was tubing with a group of people and several tubes in that group tipped over near Mohawk Park, which is north of the village, said Massachusetts State Police Lt. Michael Habel. Several people in her group made it safely onto the riverbank, but the young woman did not make it, he said.