15-year-old boy drowns at Oxbow Park
A 15-year-old boy drowned at Oxbow Regional Park in Gresham Monday afternoon, Aug. 12. His body was recovered from the Sandy River by Multnomah County Sheriff's Office Dive Team members at approximately 5:55 p.m. and released to the Multnomah County Medical Examiner's Office.
This is the second drowning at Oxbow in two weeks.
The boy's family called 911 just after 3:15 p.m. to report he had gone under. The boy had been wading about knee-deep in the water and then disappeared, the sheriff's office reported.
Officials noted there is a sharp drop-off in the Sandy River where the boy went under and it's unclear whether he was wearing a life jacket.
"As we know with this area, it drops off quick. Very quick and the current picks up," said Lt. Anthony Foster with Gresham Fire & Emergency Services. "It's hard if you're not a very good swimmer."
A park ranger was in the water shortly after the boy went missing trying to help. A private helicopter and the U.S. Coast Guard flew overhead trying to see him, but had no luck.
Emergency responders from the Metro Park Rangers, Corbett Fire, Gresham Fire, United States Coast Guard, Trauma Intervention Program (T.I.P.), American Medical Response (A.M.R.), and the MCSO Dive Team responded to the scene, along with Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese.
"The family had a good last-seen point and on arrival, they were waiting for us to show us where he was," Foster said.
Dive teams searched for hours, but called it a recovery mission around 5 p.m.
The teenager's body was found around 7 p.m., slightly downstream from where he was last seen.
"Whether you're a child or an adult, these rivers are not a pool and it's important to wear life jackets," Foster said.
An 8-year-old boy drowned at Oxbow Park on July 30.
Life jackets available to borrow at the park, and safety officials urge all swimmers to wear one and have a plan in or around the water.
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