Body of missing Florida paddle boarder found on Columbia River - KPTV - FOX 12

Body of missing Florida paddle boarder found on Columbia River

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Andres Pombo Andres Pombo

The body of a Florida man who traveled to Oregon for a paddle board race near Hood River was recovered from the Columbia River on Wednesday.

Andres Pombo, 20, of Miami, Florida, was reported missing Friday afternoon.

Deputies said Pombo was part of a group who launched from Viento State Park along Interstate 84 with the intent of paddling to Hood River to practice for the weekend race.

Witnesses said Pombo wanted to paddle toward the Washington shore and split from his group.

His paddle board and gear, including a video camera, were found floating mid-channel in the Columbia River.

Investigators said video on the camera indicated Pombo had fallen off his board on the western edge of the area known as Swell City. A kite boarder in the area reported seeing Pombo fall into the water, but quickly lost sight of him. 

Deputies said the wind was very strong that day, causing swells to form in the river. 

A search and rescue operation was launched with boats, as well as aircraft, from multiple agencies.

A search plane spotted Pombo's body at 9 a.m. Wednesday just down river from where he was last seen.

Deputies said Pombo did not have a personal flotation device or tether on at the time he fell from his paddle board.

The Hood River County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday that the Columbia River's current is stronger than most people believe and strong winds can increase the danger.

"The Sheriff's Office urges everyone on the river to use a flotation device as required by law and other available safety equipment when using the river for recreation," a sheriff's office statement said.

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