On Saturday (March 8, 2014), a 911 call came in about three people stranded on the Clackamas River upstream from the confluence of the Collawash River east of Estacada. The Clackamas County Water Rescue Consortium and Clackamas County Sheriff's Office Search & Rescue responded to the area.
Rescuers were able locate three adults who were stranded on the opposite side of the river from the roadway. They were out of the water on a rock outcropping, but unable to get back across the river. Their vehicle was parked about 100 yards upstream from their location.
The Clackamas River is running at a higher level than normal with all of the recent rain -- and was continuing to rise as the rescue took place.
Rescuers were able to use a raft to navigate across the river. They placed the three in personal flotation devices (PFDs) and used the raft to get them back across the river.
No one was injured during the rescue; the three were treated and released at the scene by American Medical Response.
The three subjects were identified as Branton Shows, 50, Kayla Pletcher, 40, and Alex Pletcher, 19, all of Estacada.
Rescuers learned the group got to the area around noon on Saturday (March 8) and put in a small recreational-type raft to float down the river. Immediately after launching, the raft hit some debris and sank. The three were able to make it to shore, but were not wearing PFDs. They were able to build a warming fire and waited until a passerby saw them and called 911. They did not have the proper equipment to be navigating this type of waterway.
Responding agencies from the Clackamas Water Rescue Consortium included the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office Marine Patrol and Water Rescue Team, Clackamas County Fire District #1, Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue, Gladstone Fire Department and American Medical Response.
The Clackamas County Water Rescue Consortium would like to remind everyone to be careful around local rivers. With the recent rain rivers are cold, fast, high and full of debris. Always remember to wear you PFD -- and make sure you never try to navigate water that is above your skill level or the level of your equipment.
Nate Thompson, Sergeant
Office of Public Information
Clackamas County Sheriff's Office