Marine Deputies Respond to Minor Injury Boat Crash Involving the Oregon State University Crew Team (Photo)
On Monday, March 3, 2014, at about 4:51 PM, Benton County Sheriff's Office Marine Deputies were dispatched to a water rescue involving multiple people on the Willamette River at the Harrison Street Bridge near Corvallis.
The Oregon State University Crew Team was practicing with multiple boats on the Willamette River. Nine students were on an approximately 30' crew boat upriver from the bridge. They struck the west pier of Harrison Street broadside.
They were all thrown from the boat into the river. There were no personal floatation devices onboard because crew boats are exempt from normal requirements from recreational boats, including personal flotation devices. However, another coach was in a prop powered boat and was able to retrieve all of the crew members. One crew member complained of slight head pain from hitting the pier, but there were no other injuries.
The crew boat was wrapped around the pier, near the center of the boat. The marine deputies assisted the crew staff and were able to free the boat. It was torn in half and was a total loss. The value of the carbon fiber boat was valued at around $35,000.
The water in the Willamette River is currently very high, fast, and cold. Benton County Sheriff Scott Jackson would like to remind the public to use extreme caution when entering the waterways and have the proper equipment, including wearing personal floatation devices.
The Benton County Sheriff's Office contracts with the Oregon State Marine Board (OSMB) to patrol the Willamette River from Harrisburg to Buena Vista and the Santiam River to the confluence of the North and South Santiam Rivers near Jefferson. In total, they patrol about 80 miles of waterway.
The Benton County Sheriff's Office Responds to Snow Storm
During this latest weather event Benton County got some of the heaviest snowfall in the state. Many were stranded and unable to travel due to the unusually heavy snow fall. Answering the call, the Benton County Sheriff's Office drove city streets, highways, and country roads, getting critical service workers and at-risk patients where they needed to go. Sheriff's Office volunteers were instrumental in accomplishing this mission. Volunteers from the Search and Rescue units of the Sheriff's Office once again rose to the occasion by providing critical services to the community.
Even during storms--like those that have dumped snow on the mid-valley twice this year--essential services continue to operate. Beyond law enforcement, fire, ambulance, and utilities, many people need to travel to keep those services functioning. 9-1-1 phones must be answered, dialysis patients need to receive treatment, hospitals must be staffed, home oxygen users need power, and mental health workers have to evaluate clients.
Over the five days of the storm, ten BCSO SAR volunteer drivers conducted forty-six trips and covered 1,050 miles, across all residential areas of Benton County.
"I am very grateful that our Search and Rescue volunteers keep themselves and their families prepared, and then work tirelessly to assist others in the community," Sheriff Scott Jackson said. "Our deputies were slammed with busier-than-usual calls for service, and responding to critical incidents, so our volunteers filled a valuable need by assisting medical providers in getting to work and patients with accessing vital health care services."
Benton County Emergency Manager Clay Stephens reminds citizens to avoid driving in adverse weather conditions, if possible. If you do decide to travel, Stephens advises several precautions to take before leaving: drivers should check road and weather conditions, allow additional travel time, and ensure that you have more than half a tank of fuel. Put a small emergency kit in your vehicle, too, with food, water, a flashlight, a paper map, warm clothing, and a cell phone charger.
Drivers can consult www.co.benton.or.us/pw, www.corvallisoregon.gov,
for road information, and www.weather.gov/portland
for the latest forecast. For more information about Benton County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue program and volunteers, contact Lt Clay Stephens, 541.766.6864.