Child drowns in Sandy River near Oxbow Park

Multnomah County

Gresham Fire Department is responding

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A child drowned in the Sandy River Tuesday afternoon near Oxbow park.

The 8-year-old boy at the park with his family and was playing in the water just off the boat launch ramp.

He was not wearing a life jacket when he disappeared around 12:30 p.m.

Family members were not able to call 911 for about 20-30 minutes because there’s no cell phone service.

Search and rescue crews from the Gresham Fire Department found the child’s body around 2:20 p.m.

“Even though it’s warm outside, the Sandy River is still cold and there is a current even if it doesn’t look like there’s a current,” Gresham Battalion Chief Jason McGowan said. “You never know what the bottom looks like. You could wade out up to your knees and the next thing you know, it’s over your head.”

Firefighters from several agencies tried to find the boy with snorkels and masks before the dive team got there.

Park staff said they’ve had drownings there before but there are lifejackets available to borrow.

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