PORTLAND, Ore. - The U.S. Coast Guard suspended the search for a missing 13-year-old boy feared drowned in the Columbia River Monday afternoon after the small boat he was in capsized.
A recovery effort to find the teen's body is expected to take place Tuesday. The Clark County Sheriff's Office said the teen was not wearing a floatation device when the boat he was in with his step-father and grandfather sank.
On Tuesday, the two men in the boat were identified as Robert Schmalz, 59, of Marysville, Wash., and Eric Schmalz, 34, of Sedro-Wooley, Wash. The missing teen was not identified.
Rescuers and dive teams headed for the Columbia River at about 10 a.m. Monday after the boat, a 1996 18-foot Smokercraft Sportsman, capsized and sank near Camas. Robert and Eric Schmalz were rescued. The Sheriff's office said the missing teen was Eric Schmalz's step-son.
Deputies said Robert Schmalz was piloting the boat and remains hospitalized but is expected to recover.
In a press release, the Clark County Sheriff's Office said a witness told them a small "recreational watercraft" became entangled in an anchor line near Lady Island, got swamped and overturned.
Lady Island is technically in Washington but numerous agencies from Oregon and Washington cooperated on the operation.
A nearby fisherman who saw the incident rescued the two men, Portland Fire and Rescue said. A Coast Guard helicopter also joined the search for the boy.
When the fishing boat carrying Robert and Eric Schmalz arrived at shore, the two men, soaking wet, got off, collapsed to their knees and wept.
The fisherman who saved them rushed back out to keep searching for the boy. He wasn't alone. Others joined the search.
Portland Fire and Rescue said the rescue effort has turned into a recovery effort to find the missing teen's remains. Divers did not go into the deep water to look for the boy on Monday, saying the current was too swift.
A fisherman told KATU News that about five boats went searching the water after a cooler, life jacket, hat and other debris was seen floating in the water.
"I picked a life jacket up out of the water. It could have been used," said Dennis Pierce who searched for the boy. "When the water is this fast and this strong out there – it's a sad deal."
As some of the fishermen packed up, the missing boy's step-father was just feet away, holding onto hope that his step-son may come back. A deputy tried to comfort him.
The Clark County Marine Patrol plans to return during the next couple of days use sonar equipment and possibly sending a camera down. And if the conditions are safe, divers may join in the search.
KATU News reporter Emily Sinovic contributed to this report.