Beating the heat - Sandy River style
As temperatures rose into the mid-80s on the afternoon of Wednesday, July 11, people flocked to the Sandy River to swim, float or just splash around in the water at Glenn Otto Community Park in Troutdale.
The river is likely to attract a plethora of visitors seeking a way to cool off in the next few days as temperatures are forecasted to climb to at least 90 degrees each day until early next week, according to the Portland Office of the National Weather Service — as high as 94 on Sunday.
On Wednesday afternoon, Simon Kerscher swam in the Sandy, once in a while climbing up rocks just south of the Troutdale Bridge to dive back into the water.
With the busy season, American Medical Response (AMR) lifeguards are assisting swimmers and floaters along the section of the river at Glenn Otto Community Park near the Troutdale Bridge, where the river cuts through a section of rocks. AMR's lifeguards patrol the park from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and provide life jackets for swimmers to use.
The cut-through section has a submerged log that can snag people and pull them underwater — even if they are wearing a life jacket, noted AMR Lifeguard Maddie Green. Currents can be deceivingly swift and dangerous not far from the beach area. While Green patrolled that section, she helped two loose dogs get back to their owner and prevented the canines from swimming into a more treacherous channel.
The dogs were chasing after their owners, Matt Robinson and his 5-year-old son, Shay, while they were floating the river in a shared innertube. Robinson's wife, Haley, was staying back on shore with the dogs, but couldn't keep them from giving chase.
"We wanted to float, and came here because it's really hot, but we didn't know the dogs would chase after the innertube," Haley Robinson said.
The youngest member of the family, Shay, offered advice from what he learned from the incident.
"Never take the dogs with you if you're going to float the river," he said.