Every year, the Sandy River claims a life to drowning

by: OUTLOOK FILE PHOTO: JIM CLARK - American Medical Responses River Rescue lifeguards will return to Glenn Otto Park in Troutdale for the summer, beginning today.This Memorial Day weekend, sun worshipers are expected to head to local swimming holes, looking to cool off and have a good time.

But before stepping into the water, public safety officials are urging people to show extra caution around lakes and rivers.

Cold water and swift currents at many popular swimming holes pose significant dangers to swimmers.

The Sandy River at Glenn Otto Park in Troutdale may look like an attractive place for a dip, but it’s also notorious for drowning deaths, authorities said. The river claims two to four lives each year.

That said, American Medical Response’s River Rescue lifeguards will once again staff the popular swimming destination at Glenn Otto Park on the Sandy River at Troutdale beginning today, May 23, through the end of summer on Labor Day.

AMR launched its River Rescue program in 1999, and it is the only program that guards swift water (rivers) with a team of emergency medical services providers.

River Rescue team members are trained to do surface rescues, look out for dangers to swimmers, and provide public education on water safety.

AMR has shared some simple steps to prevent drowning:

- Wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket.

- Be aware of cold shock and currents in water and rivers.

- Know your abilities before you go in. If you can’t swim, don’t go in.

- Keep children within arm’s reach and provide constant supervision around water. Children should always wear a life jacket in or around water.

- Never swim alone.

The scariest thing about drowning is it can be silent and deadly, authorities said.

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