Portland teen drowns in Columbia River

Teen swimmer presumed drowned off Sauvie Island

SAUVIE ISLAND, Ore. - A Portland teen who drowned Wednesday evening in the Columbia River has been identified as 18-year-old Jonathan J. Walker. His body was found by divers several hours after he went underwater.

Walker and a group of friends jumped off a boat into the river near Walton Beach and began swimming to shore around 5 p.m. The Oregon State Police said the boat was anchored about 30 feet from the beach.

Walker struggled and went under. A good Samaritan and another person from the boat tried to help Walker but were unsuccessful.

"One bystander and one friend from the boat responded into the water and briefly got ahold of him and then lost a hang of him and he went under," said OSP Trooper Kevin Peterson.

None of the swimmers was wearing a life jacket, Peterson said.

"Even though it's hot, the water is still cold, the current is strong," Peterson said. "If you question your swimming ability, it's best to have a life jacket."

Divers recovered Walker's body at about 9:15 p.m.

Police said the investigation continues and alcohol is being considered as a possible factor.

© 2017 KGW-TV


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