A 22-year-old ASU student drowned Wednesday while hiking near the Child’s Power Plant with friends.
John Fisher II of Tempe was attempting to cross the swollen Verde River to access the Verde Hot Springs when he lost his footing and fell into the creek around 1:45 p.m., according to the Yavapai County Sherriff’s Office. The Child’s Power Plant is located in the Fossil Creek area between Camp Verde and Strawberry.
Friends attempted to rescue Fisher, but were unable to reach him.
At one point, Fisher tried to hang onto a tree, but lost his grip due to the swift current and was tossed downstream.
The YCSO Forest Patrol and a Department of Public Safety Ranger helicopter from Flagstaff spotted Fisher’s body hanging from a tree and partially submerged a quarter mile from the hot springs.
The helicopters crew determined from the sky that Fisher was dead.
The Sedona Fire District Swift Water Rescue Team recovered Fisher’s body just before nightfall.
“YCSO Rescue personnel cannot stress enough the dangers of river waters in lowland areas throughout Yavapai County,” the YCSO said in a press release. “River banks are swollen and the current in some sections is 5 times faster than its normal rate. Rescue experts recommend staying out of these swift waters regardless of how calm they may seem on the surface level. This also goes for vehicle travel across river areas.”
Fisher’s body was taken to the Yavapai County Medical Examiner’s Office.