A 15-year-old kayaker lost on the Tualatin River was spotted after disappearing in Scholls area.

               A teenage boy missing on the Tualatin River for over two hours on Sunday evening was towed back to shore by a Hillsboro-area man, according to the Washington County Sheriff's Office.

The boy was kayaking with a group when he was separated from his family, according to Deputy Jeff Talbot. The boy disappeared at about 5 p.m., Sunday, May 13, on a stretch of river just south of Groner K-8 school, 23405 S.W. Scholls Ferry Road, south of Hillsboro.

Talbot said a man who lives in the area heard that the boy was missing from local authorities and began searching the river for the boy in his personal boat, according to deputies.

The man spotted the boy at about 5:30 p.m., more than a mile away from his last known position and towed the kayak to shore at Eagle Landing Park in Scholls.

"Everyone did everything right," Talbot said. "They were wearing life jackets, the parents let us know right away and the boater did the right thing by finding him and reuniting him with his family."

According to deputies, the boy was an experienced swimmer and was wearing a life jacket at the time, but did not have a cellphone with him while kayaking. Talbot said the boy did not know the rendezvous point he was to rejoin his group.

The rescuer's name was not released and Talbot said the man did not want to speak with the media about finding the boy.

Talbot said the incident is a good reminder to stay vigilant while on the water this summer, as the weather heats up and families take to the Tualatin River for some relief.

"Always wear a life jacket, and know that the water is cold," Talbot said. "Even good swimmers will cramp up quickly. You should have cellphones in a waterproof bag with you, and be sure to let people know where you are going. These are all things that will keep you safe while on the water."

The Washington County Marine Patrol and Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue assisted in the search.

By Geoff Pursinger
Editor, Hillsboro Tribune
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