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Jul-20-2014 21:04printcomments

Portland Man Drowns on Sandy River Near Oregon State Park

Initial efforts to locate the missing swimmer were hampered by language barriers with the caller as they tried to narrow down where the swimmer had gone under the water.

Sandy River
Sunday afternoon, at approximately 2:30 p.m. MCSO River Patrol deputies along with other emergency responders from Troutdale Police Department, Corbett Fire Department and AMR responded to the report of a swimmer in distress in the Sandy River near Dabney State Park. Photo Courtesy: Oregon Parks and Recreation

(TROUTDALE, Ore. ) - Sunday afternoon, at approximately 2:30 p.m. MCSO River Patrol deputies along with other emergency responders from Troutdale Police Department, Corbett Fire Department and AMR responded to the report of a swimmer in distress in the Sandy River near Dabney State Park.

Initial efforts to locate the missing swimmer were hampered by language barriers with the caller as they tried to narrow down where the swimmer had gone under the water.

Troutdale Police and MCSO Deputies were searching along the banks of the river trying to locate the swimmer and the location of the caller.

A person standing higher up on the bank spotted something floating down the river mid channel and an individual who heard the emergency vehicles arriving and was down close to the shore line could tell it was a body floating down the river mid channel.

He ran down the river bank keeping the body in sight and saw the body get hung up on some bar rocks in the middle of the channel where the river became a little shallower.

A Troutdale Police Officer searching the river from the bank area also spotted the body hung up and the person who followed it down the river held a safety rope the officer had with him and waded out to the body and brought it back in to shore.

The Troutdale Police Officer started CPR on the river bank and was assisted by an arriving MCSO Deputy. Corbett Fire responders arrived several minutes later and continued lifesaving efforts as they brought the person back to the Dabney State Park boat ramp.

Unfortunately, they were unable to revive him. The deceased has been identified as 52-year-old Birtha B. Subba, of Portland.

According to his brother-in-law they had been out fishing along the banks of the river upstream from Dabney State Park when Birtha decided to go further upstream from where they were fishing.

The caller who reported the swimmer in distress recognized it was his brother in law after he called 911 but was unable to assist him because he did not know how to swim.

Birtha was not wearing a life jacket when he was pulled from the river.

Source: Multnomah County Sheriff's Office




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