Wednesday, August 4, 2021
Aug. 4, 2021

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Body of swimmer believed drowned at Frenchman’s Bar found

By , Columbian staff writer

The Clark County dive team found the body of a swimmer Monday who was believed to have drowned Sunday afternoon in the Columbia River near Frenchman’s Bar Regional Park, according to the Vancouver Police Department.

The Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the man as Rodney R. Kumar, 22, from Portland. His cause and manner of death are listed as pending.

He was found “a short distance away” from where he was last seen, according to Vancouver Police.

Witnesses called 911 about 5:46 p.m. Sunday to report that a man in his early 20s had disappeared under the water about 15 feet from shore. He was reportedly not a strong swimmer and was not wearing a life jacket, according to the Vancouver Fire Department.

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 man. 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 the scene shifted from rescue to recovery operations. Crews on the scene searched 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.

Crews returned to the river Monday morning to continue the search.

A Clark County website with information about Frenchman’s Bar said swimming is not recommended at the park because of steep drop-offs, swift currents in the Columbia River and no lifeguards on duty.