Search for Sauvie Island swimmer

Sauvie Island KPTV image

PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -- It’s been a busy weekend for search and rescue crews on the Columbia River where two swimmers in two different spots disappeared in the water Friday.

The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office told FOX 12 that its river patrol found the body of a man who drowned near Kelley Point Park late Friday night.

Hours before that, another swimmer disappeared in the river on Sauvie Island. That man still hasn't been found.

The sheriff's office said he's in his late twenties and was swimming in the Reeder Beach and Willow Bar area. A woman on shore at the time told us it was actually her sister’s friend who’d been out on a floatie and started waving.

That’s when the sheriff’s office said bystanders jumped into help but couldn’t get to him, and someone called 911, prompting the search.

A handful of rescue boats from all different agencies spent about three hours looking for the man, until it got too dark and difficult to see among the items below the surface so they called things off until morning.

Then Saturday divers spent all day looking for the man and still couldn't find him. They suspended the search again.

"Definitely it's sad and kind of shocking," Debbie Nolan said. She was walking her dog on the beach Saturday. "I do know there’s kind of a drop maybe ten feet out or so from the shore that you just kind of have to be aware of but I've never had any issues never seen anybody else have any issues or problems swimming out here."

Down at Kelley Point Park around 10 p.m. Friday, the sheriff’s office said someone reported another swimmer that had gone under and hadn’t come up.

Crews there found a man’s body about an hour later. On Saturday, the sheriff's office identified the dead man as Carlos Lara-Escudero, 22, of Portland.

And while all the details aren't known in either of these situations, officials say this is a good reminder of the changing, and sometimes dangerous conditions, in the Columbia River.

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

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