Two Teens Found Dead After East Bay Rafting Trip

CONCORD (BCN) — The bodies of two teenage boys were found in a waterway in Concord Sunday after they went missing on a Saturday afternoon rafting trip, according to a Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office spokesman.

Matthew Miller, 16, and Gavin Powell, 17, told their families they were going on rafting in a nearby aqueduct or creek at about 2 p.m. Saturday, Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Jimmy Lee said.


KCBS’ Bob Butler Reports:


The boys, who were both from Walnut Creek, called a friend to meet them at a specific location, and two hours later, the boys hadn’t arrived, Lee said.

The boys were reported missing by their families, who contacted the sheriff’s office and the Walnut Creek Police Department just after midnight.

Both boys were found in the Walnut Creek waterway, which is located in the city of Concord, Lee said.

Miller’s body was found at 11:30 a.m. between state Highway 4 and Imhoff Drive and Powell was found near Stanwell Drive, Lee said.

No information was immediately available about how they died.

“There were no personal flotation devices, but they did have helmets,” Lee said.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News contributed to this report.)

  • SB

    It’s true, low-head dams and spillways have a terrible undertow due to poor design. Since the state is broke and can’t redo them why not put a low hanging cable about two feet above the high water line. Then hang small sections of rope (with knoted ends) off the main cable every two feet or so. Anyone headed for these death traps should then be able to make their way to the concrete wall where there will be simple metal rungs bolted to climb on up.

    Seems like it would be worth the nominal cost to save a life.

  • Wondering

    KTVU is reporting that two bodies were pulled from the creek. Do you have any updates? This is very sad.

  • Rick

    Not only are their deaths tragic, but so is the fact that kids around here consider that canal a river.

  • john smith

    You can thank the media…. for the country’s condition. They can’t ever seem to keep a secret. They can’t resist broadcating a whisper they hear over the loudspeaker for the entire general population..

  • Rodger Pang

    I know those people.

  • Keith

    How the Hell can two sets of parents know that their kids are going rafting in a rain swollen creek and not have an immediate inclination to prevent it. This is an 100% preventable loss of life. It was a stupid idea, and it was a stupid decision to allow it.

  • Sam

    I agree with keith. But you gotta wonder if the parents really new what they were up to

  • Coco

    Well since all the kids in the area do consider it a river instead of a dangerous canal, they are going to be drawn to it. Can’t the schools in the area have the police, or firemen come to speak to the kids. Then at least they are going to know what can happen to them if they fool around in that canal. This tragedy is the perfect example. The report stated that,” they let their families know where they were going” so obviously their parents had no idea of the danger either or they wouldn’t have allowed them to do it or would at least have insisted they wear a life jacket.
    Condolences to the families

  • Willow

    We send our condolences to all families and friends of these two boys.

    May the peace which comes from the memories of love shared, comfort you now and in the days ahead.

  • Kristen

    ABC7 reported that the families did not know the boys were going into the canal at all. The families learned after speaking to a friend of the boys’ that they were going “rafting” and reported them missing immediately.
    So sad.

  • cocores

    Sorry if this is a dumb question, but why are canals so dangerous?

  • DJ

    @cocores, It’s not a dumb question. The water is moving very fast creating dangerous undertows, also there is a lot of debris in the water such as tree branches that can be a hazard.

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