Clackamas County Marine Patrol gears up for warm week in metro a - KPTV - FOX 12

Clackamas County Marine Patrol gears up for warm week in metro area

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Members of the Clackamas County Sheriff's Marine Patrol Unit speaking with a family Monday. (Source: KPTV) Members of the Clackamas County Sheriff's Marine Patrol Unit speaking with a family Monday. (Source: KPTV)
Source: KPTV Source: KPTV
CLACKAMAS COUNTY, OR (KPTV) -

As the weather heats up around the Portland metro area this week, rescue swimmers and dive team members are gearing up for what is sure to be a busy few days.

FOX 12 rode along with the Clackamas County Marine Patrol on Memorial Day, as deputies went up and down the Clackamas River. 

“Today we’re just making sure people are being safe,” said Deputy Marc Griffith.

Deputies stopped a group of kayakers to make sure they had life jackets and also whistles to alert people if they need help.

“Especially when the water’s cold,” Griffith explained. “You’re going to gasp the second you’ve hit the water, so you’re not going to be able to scream for help.”

Even though it’s going to feel like summer this week, experts say it’s important to remember that the temperature of the water is still shockingly cold.

On the river Monday, the water came in at 54 degrees.

Deputies also gave a man with a large, inflatable kayak a $25 citation for not having an invasive species permit, which is required on anything 10 feet or longer. 

Close to Carver, the beach along the river became more crowded as families and kids got in the water to cool off.

“We haven’t really gone out too far,” said Josh Jordan, enjoying the river with his family. “Here on the shore it’s not too bad, putting your feet in.”

Deputies saw a little boy in Jordan’s group who was wearing a life jacket that was too big for him and would slip right off if he fell in the water.

“Just make sure they’re sized properly, that way you don’t send your child out into the water thinking they’re perfectly safe and then see a life jacket floating on the surface,” Griffith said.

Griffith is also a rescue swimmer, who has been called out a number of times already this season.

He said there’s a common thread in all his calls: the absence of life jackets.

“It’s always this, every time,” he said, pointing to his own life jacket. “There’s always that incident where somebody jumps in off High Rocks and hits their head, and that person maybe we couldn’t save. But every other one of them – if they have a life jacket on, and they get cramped up in the middle of the river, it’s not a big deal, they can float… and get some help.”

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