Much of Oregon and Washington are set to see the warmest temperatures of the year so far as thermometers head toward the mid 80’s this week.

The heat comes with a warning from first responders: stay out of area rivers and lakes–they're simply too cold.

It is a message a Newberg family echoes.

Nearly two years ago, Mike and Ricci Hatch’s son, Brandt Hatch, drowned on the Clackamas River near Estacada.

“Just a great kid, you know, loved to be outdoors and hiking and, of course, being with his best friends, of course, through all the years,” Mike Hatch said.

It was June 29, Mike says, and his son was on a camping trip with friends. The group was on day two of the trip when they decided to go swimming.

Mike says the water was like glass that day and the outside temperature in the 80’s. The river temperatures were near 50 degrees.

“It shocked him, basically, and he really struggled and two of his other friends jumped in and tried to save him and they just couldn’t,” Mike said.

He adds that with temperatures expected to climb this week, he wants to share his family's story and encourage people to wear a life jacket, even if you're a strong swimmer.

He says right now the rivers and lakes are too cold for swimming.

Clackamas County Marine Patrol Deputy Adam Tingey agrees with Mike's message. Monday, he was making the rounds up and down the Willamette River and on the Clackamas River.

“Definitely glad not to see anyone up here swimming,” Tingey said.

He says the rivers are running high and cold right now and could pose a problem for even the strongest swimmers.

“You are talking about a 48-degree disparity between your core body temperature and what the river is producing right now,” Tingey said.

We also tagged along with @ClackCoSheriff Marine Patrol today. They say rivers are running high and cold. They reminding folks to have a life jacket not only with you but on when out at area rivers and lakes.— John Hendricks (@JohnKPTV) April 23, 2018

He says patrols on the river are routine and recommends that people avoid the urge to dive into rivers and lakes, despite the warm weather.

"It is not just the risk of drowning," Tingey said. "You can induce medical problems when the water is this cold."

He urges people to visit a swimming pool or other controlled water environment instead.

“Just because it looks nice and calm on the surface, it is moving water underneath and there is a lot of unseen dangers under the surface of that water,” Mike said.



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