18-year-old drowns while swimming near Sauvie Island
The body of an 18-year-old swimmer was recovered Wednesday evening at Walton Beach near Sauvie Island, after he attempted to swim to shore from a boat and was not seen afterward.
Witnesses say Jonathan James Walker of Portland was swimming with friends Wednesday afternoon at Walton Beach, when the group jumped off a boat that was anchored about 30 feet from the shore, an Oregon State Police news release stated. As the group began swimming, they noticed Walker struggling to make it to shore. A good samaritan and one of Walker's friends told police they tried to help him, but were unsuccessful.
After not seeing Walker for about 15 minutes, the group called for help shortly after 5:30 p.m.
OSP responded at 5:40 p.m. and set up a search for the teen, with assistance from the U.S. Coast Guard and sheriff's deputies from Multnomah and Clark County. Sauvie Island firefighters also helped search along the shore, with no success.
After Walker wasn't found, a dive team from Multnomah County was called in and recovered Walker's body from the Columbia River just after 8 p.m.
The incident remains under investigation and OSP stated in a news release Thursday that alcohol is being considered as a possible factor.