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Local Crews Rescue 18 From Willamette River on Saturday

Eugene Springfield Fire

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.

Love Cross joined KLCC in 2017. She began her public radio career as a graduate student, serving as Morning Edition Host for Boise State Public Radio in the late 1990s. She earned her undergraduate degree in Rhetoric and Communication from University of California at Davis, and her Master’s Degree from Boise State University. In addition to her work in public radio, Love teaches college-level courses in Communication and Public Speaking.