Search for distressed swimmer on Columbia River a 'recovery effort'

(KPTV image)

PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – Authorities believe someone may have drowned in the Columbia River on Tuesday.

Crews say the person was in the water between the Glenn Jackson Bridge and a small island called Schwisher Landing. At this point, they are calling the search a “recovery effort.”

The Coast Guard and Portland Fire & Rescue called off their search earlier Tuesday evening. They were called out there on reports of a swimmer in distress just before 5:30 p.m.

The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office is now leading the investigation. They spent the evening contacting people in the area, trying to find out if anyone was missing a person from their party.

Fire officials say that a boater spotted a struggling swimmer and went to go help, but the person went underwater before the boat got there, and then wasn’t seen again.

The boater stayed in the area to mark the spot for search and rescue crews, who used underwater tools to search, but didn’t find anyone.

The sheriff's office says the area is too deep and too swift to put a dive team in.

Deputies say they plan to continue the search again on Wednesday.

Copyright 2019 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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