Man presumed drowned at Klineline Pond identified

Crews recovered the 42-year-old's body this afternoon

By Patty Hastings, Columbian Social Services, Demographics, Faith

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Authorities identified the man who presumably drowned in Klineline Pond Wednesday as Pioneer Anastacio Kelulau, 42, of Vancouver.

Kelulau reportedly waded into the deep section of pond to retrieve a child’s hat when he went under, according to Clark County Fire District 6. His remains were recovered by a dive team this afternoon in about 30 feet of water near where he was last seen.

The 911 call came in at about 8:30 p.m. Wednesday from Salmon Creek Regional Park, 1112 N.E. 117th St. Within about four minutes, crews arrived at the scene, but Kelulau was already lost underwater, said Fire District 6 spokeswoman Sarah Mitchelson.

His family told rescue crews that a child’s hat had blown off and landed in a part of the pond that is not a designated swimming area, Mitchelson said. The pond is an old rock quarry that’s been filled with water, and there are deep drop-offs along some parts of the pond’s floor, she said.

“He waded out a distance and stepped off of the drop-off,” Mitchelson said. The area of water where he was last seen is 40 feet deep and had a temperature of 50 degrees Wednesday night, she added.

Kelulau, who was not wearing a life jacket, called to his family for help as he was swimming back to shore, but they weren’t able to reach him, she said. A family member had difficulty swimming out to him in the cold water and returned to shore. Kelulau went underwater about 50 feet from shore.

Wednesday night, crews with Fire District 6, the Clark County Sheriff’s Office and the Southwest Washington Organization of Rescue Divers could not find him.

They resumed the search today and recovered his body, which was sent to the Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office. The park, which was closed during the search, reopened to the public this afternoon.