By Paul Daquilante • Staff Writer • 

Funds raised for burial of Newberg teen who drowned at Rogers Landing

Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue responded to the disappearance of a teenage swimmer on Monday.
Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue responded to the disappearance of a teenage swimmer on Monday.
Wesley Warmoth
Wesley Warmoth

Tyree Cooper, who organized a GoFundMe fundraiser to assist with funeral and burial expenses for his 18-year-old cousin, Wesley Warmoth, said about $5,500 had been raised as of Thursday morning. The goal was $2,000.

“Thank you to everyone who contributed,” Cooper posted on the GoFundMe page. “Our hearts are so touched by the outpouring of love and generosity.”

Callers first reported to the 911 dispatch center at 6 p.m. Monday that a swimmer had disappeared and was not wearing a life jacket.

A rescue team dropped a buoy at the point where Warmoth was last seen and began searching a grid pattern with a thermal-imaging camera. The teen was found in about 20 feet of water, a short distance downstream from Roger’s Landing, shortly before 9 p.m.

“Our hearts go out to the family of this young man.” Yamhill County Sheriff Tim Svenson said. “This is a tragic situation that unfortunately plays out all too often in Oregon rivers and lakes. We will keep this family in our thoughts.”

The body of a 17-year-old boy who drowned in the Willamette near Salem was recovered Thursday. Law enforcement and medical personnel responded about 7 p.m. Wednesday to an area near the Peter Courtney Minto Island Bridge in downtown Riverfront Park, the Statesman Journal newspaper reported.

Rivers fed by snow melt run cold even on hot days, and swift currents beneath the surface can also be dangerous for swimmers, said Oregon State Marine Board spokesperson Ashley Massey

“If you get caught in the current, know how to float with your feet pointing downstream, and if you’re wearing a life jacket, have the straps secured to the jacket so they don’t get tangled in any underwater snags,” Massey said.

There is a life-jacket kiosk at Roger’s Landing, which was dedicated in July 2016.

Warmoth’s cousin, T

 The Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue’s Water Rescue Team, which conducted the initial search near Roger’s Landing, is comprised of firefighters cross-trained in swift-water rescue, rope rescue techniques and boat operations.

The team, which responded to 55 water rescue incidents in 2019, trains weekly to ensure response readiness and to hone specialized skills. On any given day, five to six water rescue technicians are on duty ready to respond around the clock. The team is strategically positioned at Station 59 in West Linn and Station 20 in Newberg.

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