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Swift water rescue teams will start guarding the Clackamas River at High Rocks Park

Starting last month, the American Medical Response (AMR) river rescue team began watching swimmers at High Rocks Park for the summer season.

AMR will kicked off its summer season with a water rescue demonstration May 25.

PHOTO COURTESY: AMR - AMR rescuers practice at High Rocks.Starting on May 26, AMR's river rescue technicians, who are lifeguards specifically trained in swift water rescue, will staff two parks from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. In addition to High Rocks Park along the Clackamas River in Gladstone, they cover the Glenn Otto Park along the Sandy River.

Before AMR's River Rescue Program began in 1999, two to four people died by drowning in the river at those parks on average, according to a press release from AMR.

AMR provides these tips for staying safe on the water:

1. Wear a properly sized U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket when in, on or near water, including docks and beaches.

2. Be aware and prepared for the hazards before you go in (swift currents, cold shock, debris).

3. Know your swimming abilities.

4. Keep children within arm's reach and provide constant supervision in and around water.

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