Marine Rescue Unit responds to three incidents, nobody wearing life jackets
The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office Marine Rescue Unit pulled the body of a 29-year-old Portland man out of the Clackamas River approximately one mile upriver from Barton Park on Sunday.
Geoffrey Michael Reynolds drowned Sunday afternoon after being pulled into the water while trying to pull his raft to shore. He was not wearing a personal floatation device.
Approximately one mile upriver from the Barton Park, the Clackamas River has created a 90-degree turn. Reportedly, this portion of the river is crowded with large boulders and the water becomes very violent, with strong hydraulics that make the water difficult to navigate. It was at this corner that Reynolds was swept underwater.
Marine Rescue personnel, already in the Barton Park area due to another rescue, converged in the area and utilized divers, poles and pole cameras in an effort to locate and recover the victim from the river.
Reynolds was eventually found at about 3:30 p.m. when another rafting party spotted what they believed to be a human body, face down, submerged in about 15 feet of water. Divers then responded to the area and recovered the body.
Earlier at Barton Park, a rubber raft had capsized after it struck a submerged log in the river. The two male subjects from this incident were located by rescue personnel and brought safely to shore.
These rafters were being brought to the Barton Park area, when the Reynolds drowning was reported to rescue personnel on the scene at Barton Park.
In all, there were three events on the Clackamas River on Sunday in which the CCSO Marine Unit responded to distressed people in the water. In each of the rescue events, which involved a total of 10 people, not a single person was equipped with a personal floatation device.
The Clackamas County Water Rescue Consortium is comprised of many of the police and fire agencies in Clackamas County: Clackamas County Sheriff's Office, Gladstone Fire, Lake Oswego Fire Department, Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue, Life Flight Network and Clackamas Fire District #1.
'Once again, please allow this incident to serve as a cautious reminder to all the hazards that exist with the present river temperature, water conditions and the arrival of warm sunny afternoons. And of course, most importantly…wear a personal floatation device at all times while on the water,' said Jim Strovink, a spokesperson for the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office.
The CCSO Marine Rescue Unit would also like to remind everyone of the present Clackamas River temperature. It is only 53 degrees, according to a Marine Patrol responder. The temperature and the enormous volume of water resulting from this years abundant snow melt, can lead to trouble on the water, according to the sheriff's office. The United States Geological Service reported that the Clackamas River is discharging at a rate of 1662 cubic feet per second.