SPRINGFIELD, OR (KPTV) – Eugene Springfield Fire’s Water Rescue crews rescued 18 people after two incidents on the Willamette River in Springfield on Saturday.

At 5 p.m., C3 along with Boats 5 and 6 were dispatched to Clearwater Park where 17 people experienced a mishap while floating in the river. Crews say a flotilla of multiple different types of inflatables got into trouble while trying to dismount to avoid a river obstacle.

They say 17 people were pulled off an island by the boats, and four were transported to local hospitals for minor traumatic injuries.

Then at 11 p.m., C3 and Boat 5 responded to the Wheeler Road area of the Willamette River for an injured and hypothermic person stuck on an island.

Crews say night operations in low and unfamiliar water prevented the boat from launching, but they were able to use the team’s inflatable craft to retrieve the person, who was later transported to a local hospital.

Officials want to remind people that rivers are dangerous places to recreate year-round and proper safety equipment and plans are a must when enjoying the natural areas.

Copyright 2020 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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