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Swift water rescue teams will start guarding the Sandy River at Glenn Otto Park, High Rocks Park.

Starting this weekend, the American Medical Response (AMR) river rescue team will begin watching swimmers at Glenn Otto Community Park for the summer season.

AMR will kick of its summer season with a water rescue demonstartion from 10 a.m. to noon Friday, May 25, at the park, 1106 E. Historic Columbia River Highway, Troutdale.

Starting on Saturday, May 26, AMR's river rescue technicians, who are lifeguards specifically trained in swift water rescue, will staff the park along the Sandy River, and at High Rocks Park along the Clackamas River in Gladstone.

Crews will watch Glenn Otto Park daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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:

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

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

Know your swimming abilities.

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

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