Male drowns attempting to swim across Clackamas River

News Release from: Clackamas Co. Sheriff's Office

Posted: Tuesday, June 9, 2015, 11:28 p.m.

Photos: [ 1 ] [ 2 ]

Clackmas RiverJust after 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 9, 2015, 911 calls came in reporting an adult male swimmer who went underwater and failing to surface.

The swimmer -- Brallan Guadalupe Vega Palma, 22 years old, of Portland -- had been attempting to swim across the Clackamas River from Clackamette Park to Dahl Beach in Meldrum Bar Park.

Units from the Clackamas County Water Rescue Consortium were immediately dispatched to the scene. Gladstone Fire, American Medical Response, Lake Oswego Fire, Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue, Clackamas Fire District #1 and Clackamas County Sheriff's Office personnel all responded.

Boats started searching the water from the surface as rescue divers prepared to search underwater.

At 7:38 p.m., one of the boats found Brallan Vega Palma in about 6-8 feet of water near where he was last seen.

Rescue personnel were able to reach him with a boat pole. They pulled him from the water and immediately started CPR. Rescuers then transported him by boat to the Meldrum Bar boat ramp, where he was transferred to AMR.

Personnel were unable to revive him, and Brallan Vega Palma was pronounced dead at the scene.

Brallan Vega Palma had been at the river with his family. He swam across the river with his cousin from Dahl Beach to Clackamette Park. While swimming back to Dahl Beach, he began struggling in the water. His cousin tried to assist him, but was pulled under. When his cousin came back up, Brallan Vega Palma was still underwater. His cousin was able to swim to shore at Dahl Beach.

The water temperature in the Clackamas River in that location is close to 70 degrees. This section of the river varies in depth. This area of the river has calmer shallow water near the shore with a stronger current in the middle of the river.

The Clackamas Water Rescue Consortium advises anyone swimming in local waterways to always wear a personal flotation device (PFD).


News-release archive

Contact Info:
Sergeant Nathan Thompson
Office of Public Information
Clackamas County Sheriff's Office