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May-16-2008 07:10printcomments

Three Men Rescued on North Santiam River

Two of the men suffered scratches and bruises from the river debris while they were in the water.

Linn County Sheriff
Photo courtesy: Linn County Sheriff

(JEFFERSON, Ore. ) - Three men were rescued yesterday by the Jefferson Fire Department's Water Rescue Team after their kayaks tipped on the North Santiam River east of Jefferson.

One of the victims who was stranded on an island two miles upriver from Greens Bridge called for help on his cell phone and was able to describe the location. The other two kayakers were missing up river.

The three individuals, 24-year-old James Fields of Albany, 21-year-old Arik Moore, and 20-year-old Eric Harrison from Corvallis, put in the North Santiam River at Stayton Thursday morning and were headed to the Santiam Rest Area. All three were wearing their life jackets and were equipped with whistles. Joining Jefferson Fire District's team was the Linn County Sheriff's Office and the Albany Fire Department Water Rescue Teams who also put in the water and assisted in the search.

Moore and Harrison lost their kayaks more than three miles upriver from Greens Bridge. They floated down river about a quarter mile before they made it to safety. They waited until they were located by the Jefferson Water Rescue Team.

Moore and Harrison suffered scratches and bruises from the river debris while they were in the water. No medical treatment was needed.

According to the kayakers, the water was very fast and they had trouble maneuvering their vessels. The current kept taking them toward log jams. They recommended that no one take canoes or kayaks on this river until the water recedes because it is dangerous. With the arrival of the warm weather, the Jefferson Fire District would like to remind swimmers and boaters that the water is very cold, the water level is high due to the snow run-off, and there are many snags and log debris that could be hazardous.

Two of the boats have been retrieved, but a yellow kayak is still missing. Anyone with information about the kayak can call the Jefferson Fire District at 541-327-2822.




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