Eugene-Springfield Fire Department Warns Citizens of Water Recreation

May 10, 2019

The Eugene-Springfield Fire Department has issued a warning for citizens to be extra cautious in and around the Willamette River and other waterways. 

Islands and banks along the Willamette River are popular spots for recreation when temperatures begin to rise.
Credit Rachael McDonald

The Fire Department releases information at the start of each summer, but unseasonably hot temperatures have begun to draw crowds to the water.

Springfield Fire Captain, Riley Martinka, says the department is specifically worried about colder temperatures and debris from the winter storm.

“Any time the temperature gets above 80 degrees,” Martinka explains, “people go to the rivers and go to the lakes. The bad thing about it is when it’s this early, the water is still super cold -- colder than even in the summer. Not to say it’s not dangerous in the summer, because it’s cold then too, but it’s even worse now with all the other hazards.”

Martinka warns that cold currents can cause hypothermia and slow down even the strongest of swimmers.

Copyright KLCC, 2019.