CORVALLIS, Ore. -- An Albany man is dead after drowning in the Willamette River near a boat ramp in Corvallis.
Benton County sheriff's deputies responded to a call of a man who had gone underwater in the Willamette River on Sunday who was not wearing a lifejacket.
Around 7:24 p.m. the body of Lee Roy Allen Dow, 24, of Albany, Ore. was found by divers from the Linn County Sheriff's Office and the Albany Fire Department. Dow went into the Willamette River at the Crystal Lake Boat Ramp with an inner tube when he slipped off and went into the river according to witnesses at the scene. His body was later located near where he was last seen above water before going underwater.
Capt. Greg Ridler of the Benton County Sheriff's Office commented on pool toys saying, "They are fine for swimming pools, but you have the Willamette which is fast moving, cold and lots of debris moving through - it is unpredictable. An inner tube or inflatable toys are not enough."
The sheriff's office wants to remind the public of river swimming dangers when going out on the water. People should always safely plan trips with proper lifejackets, flotation devices, as well as letting a family member or friend know the destination and planned trip. The sheriff also recommends bringing a charged cell phone in a waterproof bag in case of an emergency.
"People get hot, see water, and want to have fun. That's fine until the dangers of the river take hold of them," Ridler said.