Local area law enforcement have now recovered the body of a second drowning victim from a group of swimmers from the Ridgefield Church of the Nazarene who were in distress near Marina Beach on Aug. 5.
The two victims, an 11-year-old male (name witheld) and 44-year-old Andrew Inskeep, were both in Hood River as part of a youth outing and were at the beach with 18 youth and adults, according to a press release from the Hood River County Sheriff's Office.
Hood River 911 received a call at approximately 6:53 p.m. on Aug. 5 of several swimmers in distress off the sandbar at Marina Beach on the Columbia River. Officers with the Hood River City Police were dispatched.
Of the swimmers who were initially reported as struggling in the water, five were able to either self-rescue or were rescued by adult church sponsors or nearby windsurfers, according to the Sheriff's Office, but two in the group were unaccounted for.
Officers with Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission Enforcement (CRITFC) were able to launch a boat shortly, with a Hood River City Police officer on board. A caller from the Washington side advised of a possible subject floating near the mouth of the White Salmon River. The CRITFC boat arrived in the area and was able to pull a juvenile subject out of the water at approximately 7:38 p.m. Life-saving efforts were immediately initiated while en route to the Hood River Marina, where they were met by Hood River Fire & EMS. The juvenile was transported to Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital, where he was later pronounced deceased.
In the meantime, the search continued on the water for an adult subject. The search was joined by boats and deputies from the Wasco, Skamania, and Klickitat County Sheriff’s Offices, with Hood River County Sheriff’s Office deputies on board. The HRCSO airplane also flew, but all efforts were called off after dark, to resume in the morning.
At 8 a.m. on Aug. 6, the search was re-initiated. Utilizing the Skamania County Sheriff’s Office Dive Team, along with boats from the Hood River, Wasco, Klickitat and Skamania County Sheriff’s Offices, as well as CRITFC; a search was conducted based upon the last known location.
Boaters located body of Andrew Inskeep in the Columbia River near milepost 54 on Highway 14, and the Skamania County Sheriff's Office recovered the body at approximately 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 6.
Inskeep was a youth pastor with Ridgefield Church of the Nazarene.
Pastor Jason Matters of the Ridgefield Church of the Nazarene has asked that the families and church community be given space to grieve as they deal with this tragedy.
“The Hood River County Sheriff’s Office and community of Hood River mourns with the Ridgefield community over the tragic loss of these two people,” said Sheriff Matt English.