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  • 27 Aug 2014

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Water rescues keep firefighters busy

Man, jet ski pulled from Willamette River in unrelated incidents

Portland firefighter were busy Sunday morning with two downtown Willamette River rescues - one a man and the other an unattended jet ski.

According to Portland Fire and Rescue, at 3:40 a.m., crews were dispatched to the river on a report of a man screaming for help near the Morrison Bridge. Firefighters from Station 1 in Old Town arrived to find the 25-year-old male clinging to the seawall.

After getting the man a life ring to keep him afloat, crews from the Eldon Trinity Rescue Boat at Station 21 at the east end of the Hawthorne Bridge quickly pulled him out of the water. Firefighters wrapped the man in warm blankets and helped transport him with AMR ambulance to Emanuel hospital.

"The water temperature was around 43 degrees so hypothermia was a major concern" said Fire Captain Greg Espinosa, commander of the incident.

The man said that he had just arrived in Portland a couple of days ago and was looking for a place to sleep near the water when he slipped and fell into the river. He tried to get out but there was no place to exit, just a 30 foot seawall.

Then at 4:47 a.m., fishermen reported an unattended jet ski floating down the river under the Broadway Bridge. Firefighters picked up the jet ski and took it to a local station for storage. Portland police and Multnomah County sheriffs are trying to locate the owner.