Clark County deputies stress importance of life vests after Frid - KPTV - FOX 12

Clark County deputies stress importance of life vests after Friday's drowning

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Clark County Marine Patrol Unit deputies are stressing, with this shift in weather, how important it is to wear a life jacket.

They admit life jackets are not the most fashionable, but are important to be wearing because a person can never guess when they might fall into the water.

“Usually, it’s not too hard to find somebody that’s not being as safe as they should be,” said Brett Anderson, a deputy with the Clark County Marine Patrol Unit.

People on Broughton Beach told FOX 12 they weren’t ready to get in the water quite yet, but plenty of people were boating on the Columbia River.

“The weather’s super great,” said Talia Sibilla, who was relaxing on the beach. “There’s so many great things in Portland, especially on the water, to do.”

Clark County deputies were kept busy on the water Sunday.

“Even people that live here forget most the of the time, or from time to time, that we do have cold water. And cold water is considered anything less than 68 degrees, 70 degrees, so that’s us most of the year,” Anderson said.

The Clark County Marine Patrol Unit responded to the scene of a drowning on Friday.

Deputies said cold weather played a factor when a 24-year-old firefighter slipped under the water.

They said he wasn’t wearing a life jacket, and it’s a lesson that deputies want to make sure everyone takes to heart.

“When people get into cold water, not only do they get hypothermic but sometimes they don’t get a chance to get hypothermic because they go into cold shock when they hit the water because the water’s so much colder than the air temperature outside,” Anderson said.

Deputies said the Columbia River is about 50 degrees currently, and it doesn’t take long for a person’s body to go into shock if they are in the water for too long.

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