Search Ongoing for Man Seen Jumping Off Cliff into Lake Koocanusa

Law enforcement were told the man jumped July 16 from a cliff approximately 90 feet above the water

By Mike Kordenbrock
Lake Koocanusa on June 16, 2021. Hunter D’Antuono

Since Sunday evening, search and rescue personnel have been looking for a missing man who was last seen jumping off a cliff into Lake Koocanusa near Pinkham Creek, according to a press release issued Wednesday afternoon by the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies who responded to the area on the evening of Sunday, July 16, were told that the man, identified in a press release as 47-year-old Johnathan Orr, had been sitting near the water and watching others jump off the cliff before he climbed to the top of the cliff and jumped from approximately 90 feet above the water.

A witness swam to the area where Orr impacted the water and searched for him but he did not resurface, according to the sheriff’s office.

Eurkea Area Dispatch was called about the incident at about 8:07 p.m., Sunday, and both Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office deputies and Can-Am Search and Rescue (CASAR) were dispatched out to the scene.

CASAR brought out two boats and jet skis and searched the area unsuccessfully until dark, before the search resumed Monday morning with the assistance of divers and boats.

Tuesday, canines form David Thompson Search and Rescue and CASAR continued to look for Orr, with additional help from divers with Flathead Search and Rescue, as well as a remote operated vehicle in an area indicated by canines. The search for Orr remained ongoing as of Wednesday.