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Jun-23-2017 23:21printcomments

Search for Young Drowning Victim Suspended

Salem Police and Fire units were on scene for hours to no avail.


(SALEM, Ore.) - Salem Police and Fire units were called to Wallace Marine Park today at 3:48 pm on a report of a child that was in distress in the water.

The child had been swimming near the old boat ramp of the park and underneath the pedestrian bridge when he appeared to become distressed and in need of help.

Several other people who were in the area attempted to get to the child, but he slipped under the water and out of sight of the would-be rescuers.

Officers and firefighters were on scene within two minutes and immediately began trying to locate the child in the water and from the river bank.

The Salem Fire Department had a boat on scene within six minutes and immediately began searching for the child as well.

The Polk County Sheriff's Office also launched their Marine Enforcement boat and personal watercraft. As officers and firefighters continued looking for the child, the Linn County Sheriff's Office Dive and Rescue Team was activated to assist, and the Benton County Sheriff's Office also sent two aircraft to assist in the search.

The search for the child continued until dark and was suspended for the safety of the search personnel. The search will resume in the morning by the Polk County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue/Marine Patrol.

The child has been identified as 11-year old Nehemiah Wilson of Salem. His family was present at the scene.

The Salem Police Department would like to remind the public that waterways may seem calm and peaceful, but the cold water temperatures, unpredictable currents and hazards in the water can be very dangerous to swimmers.

Even strong swimmers can easily become over-exerted when swimming in cold water, as the cold can quickly drain the energy of a swimmer. Also, jumping from hot outdoor temperatures into cold water can be a shock to the system and easily put swimmers in peril.

ALL swimmers should wear personal flotation devices when swimming in these cold lakes and rivers, and always swim with a buddy and be aware of your buddy's condition.

If in doubt, get out!

Source: Salem Police


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