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Jul-27-2009 20:37printcomments

Newberg Man Drowns in Willamette River

Witnesses say the man got into trouble about 40 feet from shore.

Oscar Cortes-Perez
Oscar Cortes-Perez
Photo: Yamhill County Sheriff

(NEWBERG, Ore.) - A Newberg man drowned in the Willamette River near Rogers Landing Boat Launch, Newberg, on Monday afternoon. Yamhill County Sheriff Jack Crabtree identified the man as 36-year old Oscar Cortes-Perez, who had lived in Newberg for about 10 years.

He most recently lived with friends at various locations around the city. Most of his family lives in Mexico.

"Yamhill County Sheriff's Deputies, Newberg Dundee Police Officers and the Newberg Fire Department Water Rescue Team all responded to the area at 1:35 p.m., answering the report of a man struggling in the water who then disappeared" Crabtree said.

"Though my marine patrol boat was nearby, and Fire Rescue divers located him in in less than 15 minutes, they were unable to resuscitate him".

Crabtree says resuscitation efforts began at the shore, and continued as he was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Witnesses reportedly said the victim was about 40 feet from the shore on a small flotation device when it tipped over. He reportedly struggled to regain control a short time before going under water.

The Yamhill County Sheriff's Office is investigating the case with the Yamhill County Medical Examiner's Office. Deputies were assisted by the Newberg-Dundee Police Department.

Rogers Landing is along the Willamette River, just upstream from Champoeg State Park and about two miles from the mouth of the Yamhill River.

Ash Island is along the south side of the landing. The landing is along the south side of Newberg, off Hwy 99W. Marion County borders the south side of the river bend with Yamhill County along the north.




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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.