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Derek Johnson, 46, of Portland, drowned after falling into river while paddle boarding.

A 46-year-old man from Portland drowned while paddle boarding on the Sandy River Wednesday afternoon, July 27.

Derek Alan Johnson was stand-up paddling in the river near Oxbow Regional Park, 3010 S.E. Oxbow Parkway, on a hot summer day with many other people out on the water. According to witnesses, he fell into the water and did not resurface. He was not wearing a life jacket.

Emergency responders arrived around 2:40 p.m. to search for Johnson, who had gone missing. While deputies fanned out along the riverbank, Gresham Fire & Emergency Services launched a river rescue craft.

Firefighters found an unresponsive and pulled him from the river to paramedics, but he was declared dead at the scene.

Both Corbett Fire and American Medical Response assisted in the search.


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