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Drowning victim located in Washington County

The Washington County Sheriff's Office said the drowning occurred in the Snake River Wednesday evening about 4 miles west of Weiser.

HUNTINGTON, Oregon — The Washington County Sheriff's Office announced the drowning victim was located Saturday near Catfish Junction. The drowning occurred Wednesday evening about 4 miles west of Weiser in the Snake River.

The man was identified as Bernardo Garcia Jr. He was 50 years old, from Beaverton, Oregon. Sheriff Matt Thomas said his family has been notified. 

Chief Deputy Brady Johnston with the Washington County Sheriff's Office said dispatchers received a call at about 8:30 p.m. Wednesday from a resident along the Snake River who had heard two men yelling for help. The men had been kayaking when Johnston said they were flipped out of their kayak and into the water. 

One man was able to swim to shore on the Idaho side of the river; the other continued drifting toward the Oregon side and disappeared out of sight. Johnston said they were not wearing life jackets.

A search for Garcia began as soon as the sheriff's office got the call Wednesday night, but ended for the night after crews "ran out of daylight," Johnston said. The search resumed Thursday morning, but searchers were unable to locate Garcia, and went out again on Friday morning, Sheriff Matt Thomas wrote in a Facebook post.

On Friday afternoon, Thomas said crews had difficulty on the river, because of high water, moss clogging boat propellers and jet skis picking up rocks.

Washington County Search and Rescue, Washington Co. Sheriff's Office, Weiser Rural Fire, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Sand Hollow Fire Department, Oregon State Police, Malheur County Sheriff’s Office and Baker County Sheriff's Office participated in the search on the ground, on the water and with drones in the air. 

Friday morning, Johnston said, Payette County provided additional resources and assistance. 

People wanting to volunteer in the search also reached out.

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