Man in his 20s drowns at Kelley Point Park

The man was not wearing a life jacket when he drowned

A man in his 20s drowned in the Columbia River on August 11, 2016. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A man in his 20s drowned at Kelley Point Park during a large gathering with family and friends on August 11.

“It’s a really sad day that someone was out cooling off in the river and unfortunately they drowned,” Lt. Rich Tyler with Portland Fire and Rescue said.

Crews respond to possible drowning at Kelley Point Park on August 11, 2016. (KOIN)
Crews respond to possible drowning at Kelley Point Park on August 11, 2016. (KOIN)

The man went out into the water without a life jacket and drowned about 30 yards away from shore, where the water gets deep without much warning.

“Four different agencies conducted a search about 30 minutes after the initial 911 call we were able to locate him in approximately 10 feet of water,” Tyler said.

Firefighters said this area, where the Columbia and Willamette Rivers meet, is known to have a strong current.

PF&R crews used sonar technology to find the man. He was pulled from the water and while crews did all they could to try to save his life, attempts to revive him were unsuccessful.

It’s unclear if the man knew how to swim, but rescue crews urge people to always use a life vest in water where no life guards are on duty.

“It’s getting to be a warm weather again after a cool beginning of August. People are going to head out to the water and try and cool off, we highly recommend life jackets if you don’t know how to swim or are not a good swimmer,” Tyler said. “Life jackets around the water saves lives.”

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