'Meg's Moment' free life jacket saves woman's life on Clackamas - KPTV - FOX 12

'Meg's Moment' free life jacket saves woman's life on Clackamas River

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Nearly four years after their daughter lost her life on the Clackamas River, her family is continuing to prevent a tragedy they were faced with.

It was July 5, 2013 when Robert O'Meara says his daughter Meagan went for one last swim in the Clackamas River near Carver and never resurfaced. They searched for several days before her body was found.

In the years following the tragic loss, her friends and family have raised thousands of dollars all to buy life jackets and give them away to people who need one.

"We feel that if she had been wearing a life jacket that day she would still be here with us," O'Meara said.

On Saturday, the O'Mearas set up to hand out nearly 600 life jackets at Barton Park. Little did they know, one of those jackets would save a woman's life in the hours after she put it on.

O'Meara says a hearing-impaired woman from Monmouth, Oregon and the group she was with stopped to get a life jacket before heading out to float the Clackamas River.

It was only a few hours after O'Meara's son put the jacket on her that she would land in some trouble.

"She fell off the boat and got sucked underneath because it was losing air and the only thing that was keeping her up was the life jacket," said O'Meara. 

"It is ironic that an hour and a half, two hours later that the thing they were there handing out saved this gal's life," said Mike Gasperson, who is with the Clackamas Fire District.

The woman struggled to get out of the river and 911 was called. Gasperson said they sent out a rescue boat and helped the woman back to Barton Park. 

"She was so, so happy to be alive," O'Meara said. "She said that if she wouldn't have had that life jacket on, she wouldn't be here." 

If you are interested in donating to "Meg's Moments" you can find more information here.  

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