Local Crews Rescue 18 From Willamette River on Saturday
Eugene Springfield Fire's Water Rescue crews rescued 18 people from the Willamette River on Saturday.
According to a release, at 5 p.m. rescuers were dispatched to Clearwater Park in Springfield where 17 people experienced a "mishap" while floating the river. All 17 people were pulled off an island by the boats and four were transported to local hospitals for minor traumatic injuries.
At 11 p.m. rescue crews responded to the Wheeler Rd. area of the Willamette River for an injured and hypothermic person stuck on an island. Officials say night operations in low and unfamiliar water prevented the boat from launching immediately, but crews devised a plan to safely use the team's inflatable craft to access and retrieve the person who was later transported to a local hospital.
It is unknown if any of those rescued were wearing life jackets.
In both incidents Eugene Springfield Fire was assisted by Lane County Sheriffs and Pleasant Hill Goshen Fire.
Officials warn that rivers are dangerous places to recreate year round and proper safety equipment and plans are a must when enjoying natural areas.