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Rescuers scale back search for boy swept away in Sandy River

Rescuers scale back search for boy swept away in Sandy River »Play Video
Divers search the Sandy River on Monday after 7-year-old Asekur Rahman was swept away Sunday afternoon. Searchers also used kayaks, a plane and a black hawk helicopter to aid their efforts.

TROUTDALE, Ore. – After searching all day Monday, crews could not find 7-year-old Asekur Rahman, who was swept away by the Sandy River on Sunday evening.

According to a Troutdale police spokesman, authorities are talking to Asekur Rahman's family about the next steps.

But rescuers have significantly scaled back their search after they spent the day searching with kayaks, divers and a plane and an Oregon Army National Guard Black Hawk helicopter.

Lifeguards who were on duty Sunday when Rahman disappeared beneath the surface of the Sandy River at Glenn Otto Park while playing with his 9-year-old brother said Monday they couldn't talk about the investigation.

They did say the water was a cold 58 degrees because it's runoff from Mount Hood.

A witness, who saw Rahman and his brother go under near an island in the river, said the water was moving very fast.

Lucinda Kilcoyne said the water was up to the nose of one boy and to the forehead of the other boy as he bobbed up and down.

"I told my husband, 'There's something wrong,'" she said.

A lifeguard pulled the 9-year-old out of the water. He's OK. But neither boys was wearing life jackets or had any kind of a float.

Life jackets are available to use for free at the park in sizes for infants to adults. All that is needed is to leave a photo ID with the lifeguards.

The boy's father, who was at the park Monday, told KATU news on Sunday the outing was the family's first trip to the river.

The family is getting support from a nonprofit group called Trauma Intervention Project or TIP.

There is a little language barrier with the family. The father is from Afghanistan and the mother is from Myanmar. They've only lived in Portland for three years. TIP is helping them connect with community resources to deal with grief and anything else they might need.

Some searchers will be out until dusk and will continue to look for the boy along the riverbanks. It is unknown if they'll continue Tuesday.

Sunday was a tragic day on rivers elsewhere as well.

Rescuers found the body of Salem resident, 19-year-old Andrew Moats in the Molalla River after his inner tube became pinned against a tree and some rocks and he fell in the water.

Anthony Jimenez, a 20-year-old from McMinnville, is still missing after he attempted to cross the Willamette River in Dayton with two friends.  But he didn't make it.