Recovery operation suspended for missing woman on Clackamas Rive - KPTV - FOX 12

Recovery operation suspended for missing woman on Clackamas River

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Photos: Clackamas County Sheriff's Office Photos: Clackamas County Sheriff's Office
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office has suspended its search for a woman who went underwater and never made it back to shore.

The recovery operation was underway on the Clackamas River on Friday evening.

The woman has been identified as 26-year-old Meagan O'Meara-Clark of Canby.

Emergency crews were called to Carver Park in Clackamas County just after 4 p.m. Friday. Investigators said O'Meara-Clark jumped out of her raft to take a swim. A short time later, she was seen going underwater.

"She was doing something that she enjoyed doing. She loved the outdoors and loved hanging out with family and friend, so you know it's tragic that we're out here today," said Nolan O'Meara, Meagan's cousin.

A man who was with her made it to shore and called for help, investigators said.

"I asked if he needed help," said Alivionna Martinez, who was floating down the river with some friends about 50' away. "He said 'yes,' and so that's when we called 911."

For much of Friday afternoon, crews concentrated their search efforts on an area of the river east of the Carver Boat Ramp. Several rafters who were in the river described the area to FOX 12 as a whirlpool, which is about 20' of swirling water that's extremely difficult to get out of, investigators said.

"I was caught up last year, and it's really scary," said witness Diana Lu. "It took me about a half hour to get out."

Deputies said O'Meara-Clark was not wearing a life jacket, and it is not known if alcohol was involved, according to investigators.

"It's horrible learning about the circumstance that I hope other people that enjoy the river can put their life jackets on as well. Don't come down here without a life jacket; I don't care who you are," added O'Meara.

Initially being treated as a rescue operation, deputies said it was changed to a recovery mission after O'Meara-Clark had not been located for more than an hour.

Crews suspended their search on Saturday afternoon saying they gave their best efforts, but they were unable to locate her. Marine patrol officers will continue to search for her during their normal patrols.

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