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Body of missing rafter recovered in Youghiogheny River

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Tuesday, July 9, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

A river tour guide spotted a body floating in the Youghiogheny River on Monday evening, springing rescuers into action to recover it, a park ranger said.

The body of Robert Vega, 22, of Lancaster was pulled out of the river at Ohiopyle State Park in Fayette County after 7 p.m. Rescuers had been searching for him since he went missing on Saturday.

“It was just a tragic accident,” Jim Juran, park ranger said.

Vega was on a commercial whitewater rafting trip when his raft flipped over Saturday afternoon below the falls. His personal flotation device slipped off, and he was last seen with his foot trapped on the river's bottom at Swimmers Rapids, Juran said.

Helping in the recovery effort were members of the park staff, state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Fayette County Coroner's Office, Ohiopyle-Stewart Volunteer Fire Company and river tour guides.

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