Swimmer missing after jump from Pelly Crossing bridge

A search and rescue is underway for Richard Hager, 21, who jumped off the bridge for a swim and was unable to make it to shore.

Search and rescue underway for Richard Hager, 21,

Yukon Search and Rescue teams are looking for a man who jumped from the Pelly Crossing bridge Saturday night. 

RCMP say Richard Hager, 21, jumped off the bridge into the river. 

A community member says Hager was known for taking somersaults off the bridge. The Pelly River bridge is seven metres above water level. The pillars descend six metres to the river bottom. 

Pelly Crossing RCMP Corporal Joshua Wiese says the leap was witnessed by one of Hager's friends and four people who were further away on a riverside patio.

Wiese says witnesses called police when they saw Hager "in distress" in the water. The witnesses rushed to the riverside to offer help but did not see Hager again.

Wiese says police boats began searching for Hager a few minutes after the call around 10 p.m​. while residents scoured the shore and used their own boats to look around.

Thunderstorms and poor visibility made it difficult to search Saturday night.

Wiese says the risk of a lightning strike was too great and boats were called back. The search resumed Sunday when the bad weather had passed. 

Police say Hager was wearing tan pants and a brown jacket. He is a member of the Selkirk First Nation, 5 feet 3 inches tall and weighs about 130 lbs. 

Whitehorse and Dawson City Search and Rescue, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, RCMP from neighbouring detachments and residents are helping search by land, air and water. 

Wiese says police dogs have also been taking part in the search.

Pelly Crossing RCMP are asking anyone travelling along the Pelly River between Pelly Crossing and the Yukon River to look for Hager either in the water or along the riverbanks. 

RCMP are asking anyone with information to contact the Pelly Crossing detachment at 867-537-2677.