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Crews search for Josephine County woman swept down the Illinois River

Tina Behneke (Nicole Burnett)

Search and rescue crews are out looking for a missing Josephine County woman, who was last seen trying to cross the Illinois River.

The sister of Tina Behneke tells KTVL, that Tina was swept downstream by the current while trying to swim in a usually shallow area.

Around 3:00 p.m Wednesday, the Josephine County Sheriff's Office received a report of a possible drowning in the Illinois River at the Rogue River - Siskiyou National Forest.

Behneke was last seen in the river, near the 3,000 block of Illinois River Road. Deputy Cory Krauss with Josephine County Search and Rescue says they began their search for Behneke last night and resumed the search today. There is a ground team searching the banks and divers searching the waters she was last seen in.

Krauss says two people were accompanying Behneke while at the river. They told deputies Behneke was trying to cross the river when the current swept her away. The two tried to save her, then called officials for help.

Deputy Krauss says those looking to swim in the rivers in the area must stay cautious.

"If you're going to go down and recreate around the water, just be aware that what you would normally anticipate the water to be like this time of year, it's going to be faster and it's going to be colder. With the swiftness of the water, it might look nice and calm and inviting. But you can't really tell once you get in the water how quickly it's moving., and you cant underestimate the current and what it can do to you."

Deputy Krauss says his team will re-evaluate search efforts until they feel they have exhausted all avenues.

Tina's sister Nicole says the family is praying for a miracle, but realizes Tina's chance of survival are slim to none. The family is thanks the emergency crews helping in the search.

If you have any information or would like to volunteer to search, contact the Josephine County Sheriff's Office.

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