CONTRA COSTA COUNTY (BCN) — The family of a motorcyclist who fell over the Antioch Bridge on Sunday is asking anyone with boats or Jet Skis to help them search for his body.
Family members identified the man as Dylan Rath, the father of a three-month-old girl named Aria Rose.
His fiancée, Ashley, who preferred to be identified by only her first name, said there is no “set search” but the family is asking anyone to pitch in where they can.
“We (the Rath family) are asking anyone who has boats or Jet Skis to go out on the delta whenever they can to search from Bay Point past Oakley, checking the shoreline, harbors and piers,” she said. “People are also walking the area as well.”
Anyone who comes across Rath is asked to call 911 immediately and to not try and retrieve him.
The family has also set up a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for Rath’s daughter. The account was created to help Ashley with expenses for Aria Rath.
“It will help send Aria to a good preschool and to help her go on field trips and participate in sports and extra activities or whatever she needs as she grows up,” the page reads.
As of Friday morning, the campaign had raised $8,100 out of a $10,000 goal.
Emergency crews began searching for Rath after his motorcycle struck a car around 4:30 p.m. on the Antioch Bridge, California Highway Patrol Officer Peter van Eckhardt said.
Medical crews arrived on scene and found the motorcycle but no driver, Contra Costa County Fire Protection District Fire Marshal Robert Marshall said.
A Coast Guard rescue boat, the Contra Costa County sheriff’s rescue boat, a CHP helicopter, the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District rescue boat, Oakley police and Rio Vista police all responded to the scene.
The search was suspended around 6:30 p.m. Sunday, according to U.S. Coast Guard Lt. j.g. Leigh Van Lear.
The Sacramento County sheriff’s rescue boat resumed looking for Rath on Monday morning, but had to stop in the afternoon when high wind conditions made it unsafe to continue searching, sheriff’s spokeswoman Sgt. Lisa Bowman said.
Wind conditions prevented crews from searching for Rath until Thursday, CHP Officer John Fransen said. He said marine units from Sacramento, Contra Costa and Solano counties are now searching for Rath’s body as part of their normal patrolling routes.
“All of them are out there routinely patrolling at this time,” Fransen said. “When they’re within the location of the Antioch Bridge area and further downstream, they’re turning on their sonar and looking at what they might see in the water.”
Fransen said the search is complicated by the depth of the water and the time that has elapsed since Rath fell over the bridge.
“It’s like searching for a needle in a haystack,” Fransen said.
“There’s a lot going on in that waterway. There are undercurrents in that area, a lot of nooks and crannies.”
With so many places to look and such a large area to cover, Fransen said it wouldn’t be unusual for the search to take “months.”
“It’s such a tragic situation. Of course the family wants to find him and have closure,” Fransen said. “Our hearts go out to them.”
For more information on the GoFundMe campaign, visit http://www.gofundme.com/sc4vx6c.