Coast Guard searches for missing jet skier on Columbia River

Pacific Northwest Coast Guard NewsASTORIA, Ore. — The Coast Guard searched for a missing jet skier on the Columbia River near Corbett, Ore., Saturday and Sunday.

Coast Guard Sector Columbia River received a report at approximately 9:40 p.m., Saturday, from a male jet skier stating he had lost sight of his wife, who had been jet skiing with him, near Rooster Rock State Park in Corbett between Reed Island and Sand Island near river mile marker 130. The man indicated that his wife was wearing a bathing suit and shorts but not wearing a PFD.

Sector Columbia River launched an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Astoria and a 25-foot response boat crew from Coast Guard Station Portland to join local police and fire units in the search for the woman.

The helicopter crew arrived on scene and located an unmanned jet ski on a beach at Reed Island on the Washington state side of the river.

The response boat crew arrived on scene and both Coast Guard crews worked with local police and fire crews to saturate the area.

At approximately 1:30 a.m., Sunday, a fishing vessel near Reed Island reported hearing a woman yelling for help. The Coast Guard 25-foot response boat crew transported two Multnomah County, Ore., Sheriff’s deputies to Reed Island to search for the woman. Together the crews conducted a search of the island but did not locate her.

Multnomah County Sheriff’s deputies located the woman walking along I-84 at approximately 4 a.m. She stated that she had become separated from her husband while jet skiing and run aground. She noticed the lights and traffic on the Oregon side of the river and was able to drift across the main channel and climb to the highway.

She was reported to be suffering the onset of hypothermia and transported to a local hospital.

“Coast Guard and local authorities expended significant resources searching throughout the night and into the early morning because this pair of jet skiers did everything wrong,” said Captain Bruce Jones, commanding officer of Sector Columbia River. “They drank alcohol, failed to use PFDs and failed to stick together. The woman is very lucky to be alive. The Coast Guard urges all recreational boaters to enjoy the water safely by wearing PFDs and keeping the alcohol at home. The Coast Guard appreciates the timely and effective joint response of Multnomah County and our other local law enforcement partner agencies.”

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