Gladstone, Oregon – A 20-year-old swimmer is in critical condition after diving into the Clackamas River and spending about 12 minutes underwater. AMR’s River Rescue Team was on-duty at High Rocks Thursday afternoon. They went in and pulled the man out. He was found 30-feet under water. Rescuers say he may have gotten trapped in roots ,or debris, or maybe he hit a rock.
The swimmer was not wearing a life-jacket.
Here is a Youtube video of High Rocks jumpers from a few years ago to give you an idea of what they do:
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Around 1:30 Thursday afternoon, one of AMRs River Rescue (RR) Technicians on duty at High Rocks observed a man in the water from his station on the other side of the river. The man was swimming and appeared OK. However, the swimmer appeared to do a surface dive but did not resurface. In seconds, the first of AMR’s RR Techs entered the water and the three RR Techs performed 6 to 7 surface dives in rapid sequence until they located him in 30 feet of water.
One of the RR Techs made a deep dive to recover the man from the bottom of the river. He brought him to the surface where the RR team immediately began CPR. Fire responders arrived shortly thereafter, and used their boats to transport him across the river. Gladstone Fire arrived and took over Incident Command – directing crews to move the patient to the waiting ambulance. He was transported to the closest hospital.
People impacted by this event are encouraged to call the Clackamas County 24/7 Mental Health Crisis and Support Line at 503-655-8585.
AMR recommends that everyone in or around Oregon’s rivers and lakes wear life jackets.