Local officials talk staying safe on the river

Published: Jul. 25, 2022 at 6:33 PM PDT
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CLACKAMAS COUNTY Ore. (KPTV) - The hot weather is driving people to local rivers to cool off. This time of year the currents aren’t as bad as they are during the rainy season but you can still get into trouble.

Clackamas County Fire District rescuers recommend that parents put life jackets on their kids, even if they’re just playing in shallow water. That’s because there have been numerous instances where parents turn away for a short time and then discover their child has been swept into deeper water by the current.

Rescuers also warn about being aware of what might be underwater.

Capt. Shawn Mullen of the Clackamas County Fire District says, “depending on what’s below you and how fast the current is your foot can become ensnarled in rocks or tree limbs or debris that’s down there and again depending on how deep and how fast the current is, that can get you stuck real quick.”

Mullens says it’s important not to underestimate the environment you’re in. Flotation devices or inflatable rafts that are designed for pool use often puncture easily when they hit river rocks. That can leave swimmers in a dangerous situation.