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Nov-30-2010 17:43printcomments

Search for Missing Newberg Boater Suspended

Anyone with information is asked to contact Sgt. Steve Warden at 503 434-7506.

Willamette river search
PHOTO: Yamhill Co. Sheriff's Office

(NEWBERG, Ore.) - The search for a Newberg man believed to be missing in the Willamette river near Newberg has been suspended. Yamhill County Sheriff's Captain Ken Summers cited poor weather, rising water levels and risk to divers as the reason the search has been suspended. "While we'll continue the investigation, a full scale search of this magnitude is no longer justifiable. We will henceforth consider this a recovery effort, and not a rescue" said Summers.

Yamhill County Sheriff Jack Crabtree cited the anguish of Williams' family as the reason he called on 3 other counties, 4 fire departments and the city of Portland for assistance in the 5 day search. "Our hearts go out to the Williams family in this time of tragic loss" said Crabtree.

Williams has been missing since November 26th. On that day Yamhill County authorities received a 911 call from a citizen stating that a boat may have sunk in the Willamette River near Westin Landing. According to Yamhill County Sheriff Jack Crabtree, a boater reported that he and his son observed a male subject who appeared to be struggling for several minutes with his bow anchor on a small aluminum boat. "After going ashore for a walk, the pair heard a person in distress calling from the river" Crabtree said. "Running to the riverbank, the man saw only lifejackets, water bottles and debris floating in the area where the boat had been seen."

A truck and boat trailer associated with Williams was later found a short distance away, parked at a boat launch.

Yamhill County Sheriffs Marine Patrol coordinators have been assisted in managing the search by the Newberg Fire Departments Dive Rescue Team. Other searchers have included marine patrol officials from Clackamas, Multnomah and Marion Counties, The Portland Fire Department Dive Team and fire departments from Salem, St. Paul, Dundee and Dayton. The Yamhill County Sheriff's Search and Rescue Team has also supplied K-9's that are specially trained to detect human odors emanating from underwater.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Sgt. Steve Warden at 503 434-7506.

News Release from: Yamhill Co. Sheriff's Office

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