A man in his early 20s apparently drowned in the Columbia River Sunday evening at Frenchman’s Bar, according to the Vancouver Fire Department.
Witnesses called 911 at about 5:46 p.m. to report the man, who was not a strong swimmer, had disappeared under the water about 15 feet from shore. He was not wearing a life jacket.
A large group of people were at the scene, and many tried to look for him until firefighters arrived around 11 minutes later.
Firefighters, assisted by four fire and police boats and the technical rescue team, mounted a coordinated search for the victim. Rescue swimmers performed a coordinated grid search while the rescue boats conducted “drag” operations and searched the river using radar.
After about an hour, crews on scene shifted from rescue to recovery operations. Crews on scene searched for the victim in the river and performed water rescue operations for more than two hours. The scene was turned over to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office to continue dive operations.