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Woman rescued after getting trapped in Columbia River

Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 10:39 PM PDT
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THE DALLES Ore. (KPTV) - On Thursday, first responders in The Dalles rescued a woman from the Columbia River. Police say she was swimming alone when her foot got stuck in the rocks. The Dalles Police Department and Mid-Columbia Fire & Rescue both responded to the scene.

“We gave her a life preserver, lowered down a ladder and tried removing the rocks she was pinned under, but none of that worked,” said Officer Kanyon Reams, one of the responding officers. “I could tell the scenario was starting to get worse, so I made the decision to get in the water. I took my gear off, got in the water, and helped maneuver her foot out of the rocks it was jammed under, then I passed her on to fire crews. An ambulance hadn’t arrived yet, so we put her in the front of the patrol car, gave her a blanket to warm up, and she was transported via ambulance.”

Officer Reams says she left everything on a nearby bench but was able to use her Apple Watch to call for help after being stuck for half-an-hour.

“When the rescue happened, the water was high, the road was closed due to flooding in the street, so there wasn’t any passerby’s who would have seen her,” said Reams. “It was cold, she was swimming alone. Without that I don’t know if anyone would have saw her.”

If you’re in an emergency and don’t have access to your phone, but do have your Apple Watch, you can call for help by holding down the lower button on the side of the Watch. The screen will change and you can select Emergency SOS. When you make a call with Emergency SOS, your Apple Watch automatically calls local emergency services and shares your location with them.

As we enter a week of great weather, Officer Reams wants to remind everyone to be safe when going to the water, especially bodies of water like the Columbia River.

“Recreating in the water is fun, I do it all the time, but you always have to have a plan,” said Reams. “Notify people of where you’re going and never swim alone and always swim with somebody else.”