10-year-old boy survives a near-drowning thanks to community effort

Officials said there were at least 10 bystanders holding the boy above water before crews arrived.

Posted: Aug 1, 2020 10:20 PM
Updated: Aug 1, 2020 10:23 PM

SWEET HOME, Ore. --- A 10-year-old boy is doing well and is with his parents tonight after nearly drowning at McKercher Park Saturday afternoon. 

Sweet Home Fire responded to a water rescue at McKercher Park at 4:21p.m. after they recieved a report of a young boy who was stuck in the rapids with his leg entrapped.

Officials said there were at least 10 bystanders holding the boy above water before crews arrived.

Multiple units from the Oregon Department of Forestry, and deputies from the Linn County Sherrif's Office, as well as units from Brownsville Fire all joined in to help.

All of these agencies stayed on scene to help for about an hour when the boy was finally extricated from the water. The boy was evaluated and re-warmed in the ambulance.

Officials said this was a complicated and challenging rescue which would not have been possible were it not for the quick thinking and selfless acts of many people who were in the right place at the right time. Officials said the rescue required the work of everyone involved and one lucky little boy went home tonight thanks to a joint effort by so many people and agencies.

Officials want to take this opportunity to remind people to be cautious when floating the rivers. They said you should always remember to wear a personal flotation device.

If you are floating a river, the safest way to do so is with your feet pointed downstream and your toes up. Watch for strainers such as downed trees or other debris, and never float with anything tied to you such as a cooler or other objects.

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