Dangerous log removed from Clackamas River - KPTV - FOX 12

Dangerous log removed from Clackamas River

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DAMASCUS, OR (KPTV) -

Work crews with the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office have removed a log that created a dangerous situation that nearly claimed the life of a local man.  

The log was located a half mile up the Clackamas River from Carver Park in Damascus.

Lonnie Hamon, a man who spent years working as a rescue swimmer himself, nearly died Saturday when he became tangled up on the log, pinned beneath the water.

Luckily, two teens saw him drowning and jumped in to help, making several attempts to free him.

"He was fighting and holding onto a rope and you could see the water rushing over his head," said witness Ryan Schulenberg.

"He was trying to take one more breath but his head was underwater," said rescuer Erich Rauch.

The current was so fast it took Rauch and his cousin several attempts to get to the Harmon and cut him loose from the tree. Once they got Hamon to shore, the teens used a broken beer bottle to cut a rope twisted around his neck and arm.

Even though he had no CPR training, Rauch performed chest compressions, eventually reviving Hamon.

"I'm just glad I was able to help and God was able to save the guy's life," Rauch said.

Hamon returned to the river Sunday to thank the two teens.

Even though the log has been removed, the Sheriff's Office says that floating the Clackamas River is still a risky activity and recommends everyone wear a life jacket.

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