Kelley Point Park in N. Portland temporarily closed following tw - KPTV - FOX 12

Kelley Point Park in N. Portland temporarily closed following two drownings

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The gate at Kelley Point Park was temporarily closed Monday after two drownings in less than two weeks. (KPTV) The gate at Kelley Point Park was temporarily closed Monday after two drownings in less than two weeks. (KPTV)
Kelley Point Park (Image: KPTV) Kelley Point Park (Image: KPTV)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Portland Parks & Recreation has temporarily closed Kelley Point Park in north Portland following a pair of drownings this month.

The city announced the closure Monday. The closure is expected to last at least a couple of days so additional and larger "no swimming" signs can be installed at the park, which is at the confluence of the Columbia River and Willamette River.

The signs will have a swimming icon surrounded by a red circle with a line through it, along with a message in multiple languages stating swimming is not allowed at the park.

Similar signs have been at Kelley Point Park since 2012, following drownings the previous year. 

Sunday 10-year-old PawKu Wah drowned at the park. She was reported missing at around 4 p.m. Crews located her body a few hours later.  

Deshawn Crawford, a 21-year-old man, drowned at Kelley Point Park on the evening of Aug. 11.

Family members said Crawford was walking out onto the slough with some friends when he stepped off into about 10 feet of water and couldn't swim.

Portland Parks & Recreation reported that the temporary closure of Kelley Point Park is supported by Portland Fire & Rescue.

“Our abilities to rescue swimmers in the situations such as we encountered yesterday are very limited,” said Chief Mike Myers. “We need to save people before they even get in the water, and we must rely on education, and the community understanding what they face when it comes to nature, to bolster our efforts. We don’t want to see a tragedy like this again.”

Portland Parks & Recreation will consider long-term solutions in addition to immediately adding additional signage, possibly including measures resulting from scientific data on the depth and topography, current, and other conditions of the area off Kelley Point Park. 

The city will also ask websites that list Kelley Point Park as a swimming destination to remove the park from their listings.

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