HOOD RIVER, Ore. — An 11-year-old boy and a 44-year-old youth pastor drowned in the Columbia River in Hood River Wednesday night.
The boy will not be identified because of his age, the Hood River County Sheriff’s Office said. The youth pastor was identified as 44-year-old Andrew Inskeep. Inskeep's body was recovered by the sheriff's office on Thursday evening.
The sheriff’s office said Inskeep was a youth pastor with the Ridgefield Church of the Nazarene in Washington. He was in Hood River as part of a youth outing and was at the beach with 18 others, deputies said.
Shortly before 7 p.m., a 911 caller reported about five to six swimmers in distress off the sandbar at Marina Beach in Hood River. Some were able to get to shore safely with the help of adult church sponsors or nearby windsurfers. However, two people, the 11-year-old and Inskeep, were not found.
About 45 minutes after the initial 911 call, another person on the Washington side on the Columbia River reported someone appeared to be floating near the mouth of the White Salmon River. The child’s body was pulled from the water and life-saving efforts were administered but he was pronounced dead when he arrived at the hospital, according to the Hood River County Sheriff’s Office.
Meanwhile, the search continued Wednesday night for Inskeep. Those efforts were called off due to darkness. The search resumed Thursday morning but ended at noon and Inskeep’s body still hadn’t been found. Water and air searching will continue in the coming days, the sheriff’s office said.
Pastor Jason Matters of the Ridgefield Church of the Nazarene asks that the families and church community be given privacy as they deal with their grief.