The man who died after nearly drowning in the Green River on Monday evening has been identified as Geoffery Oberbeck, 19, of Enumclaw, according to his mother, Melanie Schomber.
Oberbeck and his father had been swimming in eddies in a part of the river near Ravensdale when the young man swam too close to the middle of the river and was swept away by the current, according to Sgt. Cindi West of the King County Sheriff’s Office. His father tried but was unable to save him, she said.
Before bystanders in a calmer part of the river downstream could rescue Oberbeck, he had been underwater for at least seven minutes, West said. He was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center, where he died.
Oberbeck, a 2012 Enumclaw High School graduate and avid Godzilla fan, was “the best big brother ever” to two younger siblings, Frederick Schomber, 11, and Daniel Schomber, 6, his mother said. He also previously attended Kent-Meridian High School in Kent.
“I’ve seen so many accidents on the Green River, I just want to dam the thing up,” said his mother, who has lived in Kent since 1979.
No date for services has been set, Melanie Schomber said.
She said she hasn’t started the process, but would like to set up a way to fund life-jacket access near spots like Green River.
In addition to strong currents and rapids that can sweep swimmers away, West said, the water can be so cold that circulation slows to arms and legs and makes it harder for someone to swim.