At about 5 PM yesterday, a 25 year-old male swimmer went under the surface of the Sandy River and did not re-surfaced. AMR Lifeguards hurried toward Lewis & Clark Park about 10 yards downstream of the Troutdale Bridge. The strong current swept the submerged victim downstream, in water depths near the limit surface divers can reach. AMR's Lifeguards were quickly joined by members of Gresham Fire & Rescue's Water Rescue Team and the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office. All three agencies train together for this type of incident.
As a result of their combined efforts, the victim was located approximately ten feet below the surface near. He was quickly brought to shore and resuscitation efforts began immediately. An AMR ambulance staged on the shore continued full resuscitation efforts during transport to the hospital. The victim's heart rhythm and pulses were restored shortly before the ambulance arrived at Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center. The young man's current condition and prognosis are unknown at this time.
While we hope for the best outcome, our hearts go out to the family and friends of the survivor. Along with our partners at Gresham Fire & Rescue and the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office, American Medical Response (AMR) would like to remind everyone that the power of the Sandy River, and all Northwest rivers, should not be underestimated. We strongly advise everyone in or near the water to please wear a Coast Guard approved personal flotation device (life jacket).
AMR has stationed Lifeguards on the Sandy River at Glen Otto Park since 1999 and on the Clackamas River at High Rocks since 2002. AMR's intervention was in response to community pleas to help decrease drownings, which had averaged approximately four per year at the two locations. Today, the River Safety Program remains part of AMR's commitment to enhance services in the Northwest Communities it serves as the emergency ambulance provider.