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Authorities rescue three stranded floaters


The afternoon took a frightening turn for three Estacadans attempting to float down the Clackamas River on Sunday, March 9.

Branton Shows, 50, Kayla Pletcher, 40, and Alex Pletcher, 19, had tried to float down the river in a small recreational raft around noon, but the raft hit debris and sank immediately after it was launched.

The three were able to make it to a rocky outcropping on the shore opposite from the roadway near the confluence of the Clackamas and Collawash rivers.

According to a press release issued by the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, the three did not have the proper equipment to navigate the river and were unable to make it back across.

Stranded, the three built a fire and warmed themselves until a passerby saw them and called 9-1-1.

Rescuers from the Clackamas Water Rescue Consortium including Clackamas County Sheriff’s Marine Patrol and Water Rescue Team, Clackamas County Fire District No. 1, Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue, Gladstone Fire and American Medical Response responded to the scene.

Rescuers used a raft to cross the river, placed the three in personal flotation devices and brought them back across the river with the raft.

No one was injured.

Authorities caution that recent heavy rainfall has caused the rivers to run high and full of debris.

They recommend the use of life vests and other appropriate equipment when floating on the river and to only attempt floating in areas that match your skill level.