Boy missing after being swept away by Skagit River


by OWEN LEI / KING 5 News

Posted on August 15, 2010 at 11:34 AM

Updated Monday, Aug 16 at 10:06 AM

SKAGIT COUNTY, Wash. - A 13-year-old is missing after being swept away by the undertow of the Skagit River.

The Burlington Police Dept. says Joshua Soren was wading with a female friend near the sandy bank off Whitmarsh Road between the Burlington Northern train trestle and the Burlington Blvd. Bridge.

Sergeant Ed Rogge said that's the most unstable part of the river.

"It's deceptively dangerous," he said.

Rogge says the sand suddenly gave way under the boy's feet. Witnesses say as the boy fell in, the girl tried to help.

"It did sound like she did try to grab the young man and pull him back.  However, he was sucked down the river by the current," said Rogge.

People who live here say the problem is that the river is colder than people expect, the current faster than it looks on the surface, and there's a sudden steep drop-off right when you get far enough out.

"It's a pretty dangerous river, that's for sure," said Tyler Briggs, who lives nearby.

As the teen slipped underwater, witnesses screamed to call 911. One man jumped in to look for the boy. Search boats arrived, circling the surface, and rescue crews dove underwater.

"The dive team went down through the section of river several times and haven't located the young man," said Rogge.

After a day of seaching Sunday, The Skagit County Sheriff's Search and Rescue units and Burlington Police suspended their search for the boy, who is presumed drowned. They will resume searching when they can bring in a K9 that is specially trained in body detection.