First responders search for Manassas teen Rappahannock River

First responders search for a Manassas teen who went missing Monday after swimming in the  Rappahannock River.

A body recovered from the Rappahannock River Wednesday morning is that of a Manassas teen, according to the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office.

Hasnain Ghafoor, 15, of Manassas, went missing on Labor Day while he was swimming on the river in the area of the Historic Port of Falmouth during an outing with family members Monday afternoon.

The teen made his way across the river to Old Mill Park, where he walked about 100 yards along the riverbank and then attempted to cross the river again back to the Falmouth, according to a report in the Free-Lance Star.

At approximately 4:21 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 7, the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office and Fire and Rescue Department responded to Falmouth Beach to look for Ghafoor. First responders searched with divers and drones until nightfall but were unable to locate the young man, the sheriff’s office said.

The search resumed on Tuesday morning with boats, divers, drones and cadaver dogs working throughout the day. The teen’s body was pulled from the river at about 8:36 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 9, near the Chatham Bridge. Officials said he was not wearing a personal flotation device, the Free-Lance Star report said.

“The Stafford County Sheriff’s Office is saddened to report that the body of the young man that went missing in the Rappahannock River on Monday afternoon has been located,” the sheriff’s office posted on its Facebook page this morning.

The teen’s drowning is the third reported on the Rappahannock River in a nine-day period, the Free-Lance Star report said.

On Saturday, Sept. 5, Stafford divers found a body in the Rappahannock at Muddy Creek near the King George County line. The body was transferred to the medical examiner and the identity of that person is still unknown.

Since 1985, more than 80 people have drowned in the Rappahannock. River experts say the Rappahannock River is unpredictable and can be extremely dangerous, the Free-Lance Star report said.

The Stafford Sheriff’s Office received assistance in the search for Ghafoor from the Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office as well as Fire and Rescue Departments from Stafford, Spotsylvania, Prince William and Quantico. 

The Department of Wildlife Resources, Virginia Department of Emergency Management, Mid Atlantic Dogs, Blue and Gray Search and Rescue Dogs and Dogs East also provided resources in the search effort, the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office said.

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