Both the SUP world and the Columbia River Gorge watersports community are coming to grips with what is, by all appearances, a tragedy. Northwest Yachting readers in the region may be able to help in search efforts or give us an update on the situati0n. Andres Damian Pombo, a Florida SUP competitor in our region for the Naish Columbia Gorge Paddle Challenge has been missing since Friday. During a training run Pombo became separated from his board, as seen from the GoPro camera recovered from his board. Following is a report from Portland’s KGW.com. SUP the Magazine is also following the story. According to the reports, Pombo, an accomplished competitor, was not wearing a life jacket or tether, and chose to separate from the group.
If anyone can provide a more current update to this story, please comment below.
HOOD RIVER, Ore. — The Hood River County Sheriff’s Office on Saturday night said it is “highly unlikely” a 20-year-old Miami, Fla. man, who went missing Friday afternoon while paddleboarding in the Columbia River near Hood River, is alive.
Around 1:45 p.m., Andres Damian Pombo and his friends began paddleboarding from Viento State Park with the intent of paddling to Hood River, according to the sheriff’s office. Pombo was in the area for a downwind race this weekend.
Investigators found a video camera attached to Pombo’s board, which showed Pombo fall of his board, the sheriff’s office said.
Witnesses told deputies that Pombo split up from the group with the the intent of paddling towards the Washington shore.
The sheriff’s office received a call around 3:30 p.m. about a paddle board and gear found floating in the Columbia River. Deputies identified the gear belonged to Pombo.
Hood River police, two boats and a plane searched the area until late Friday night.
The search resumed Saturday morning with boats from multiple agencies, the sheriff’s office said. The search focused on the western edge of Swell City, near milepost 57 on Interstate 84.
While deputies believe it is likely Pombo is dead, they will still continue their search until he is found.
Pombo was last seen wearing a gray shirt, black shorts and a gray hat.