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Volunteer divers clean up Willamette River Sunday

"We've been going down, digging up all kinds of junk and consequently we've found six guns, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, countless knives, cell phones, probably 100 to 200 bricks, hundreds of tires, and we just keep doing it until we run out of time," Emery said.

Posted: Aug 15, 2021 7:38 PM
Updated: Aug 15, 2021 7:40 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- The Lane County Sheriff's Office and Rescue volunteers teamed up with the Springfield Elks Lodge to do another underwater river clean-up Sunday morning.

It's part of an effort to remove trash from the Willamette and McKenzie Rivers.

The partnership with the Springfield Elks Lodge began three years ago, but volunteers have been coming together to clean the rivers for 15 years, according to Jim Emery who organized the event.

"We've been going down, digging up all kinds of junk and consequently we've found six guns, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, countless knives, cell phones, probably 100 to 200 bricks, hundreds of tires, and we just keep doing it until we run out of time," Emery said.

Some of the team's duties include searching for missing persons, raising sunken boats, and recovering submersed vehicles, Emery said.

"The whole reason I just volunteer is to help," Vince Furnari, the leader of the Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue Dive Team said. "We're all members of the community, give a little bit back to society. We're all divers and we're all friends and we want to help out."

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