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Firefighters rescue young kayakers in McKenzie River

Firefighters say the strong current along the shoreline caused all of their kayaks to flip over.

Posted: Dec 8, 2018 9:22 PM
Updated: Dec 8, 2018 10:19 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Ore.  -- Firefighters rescued ten high school students Friday after their kayaks flipped in the McKenzie River, immersing them in the freezing cold water.

It happened near the Harvest Boat Ramp area at around 12:05 p.m. The students were on their final river trip of the season when firefighters said the strong current along the shoreline caused all of their kayaks to flip. 

Eugene Springfield Fire's Water Rescue Team responded and helped bring them to the shoreline. They said all of the students were wearing life jackets.

The team was able to get students on dry land and out of the cold air quickly, preventing hypothermia.

Once everyone was safe, the team jumped back into the water to retrieve the kayaks and the students' personal belongings.

Firefighters want to remind people to be extra cautious on the river during this cold season and to always wear a life jacket. 

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