Campus Public Safety offers water safety tips

Is it hot enough yet? If the river is your choice of cool-down today and tomorrow, please be aware of these important safety tips before just plunging in! 

  • Most Oregon rivers are still cold! The Deschutes and the Sandy rivers are still in the 50s, and the Willamette is in the mid-60s. That cold water can shock your system and cause you to gasp involuntarily and to take in water and drown!
  • Wear a life jacket. Always.
  • Don’t leave children unattended around any body of water, even for a second.
  • Learn CPR and never swim alone (Campus Public Safety offers CPR/first aid/AED classes; call us at 503-554-2090 for details).
  • Never dive into unknown water unless you know the depth and that there aren’t submerged logs, strong currents or other hazards.
  • All boats, no matter the size, need one wearable PFD (personal flotation device) for each person on board. Anyone under 12 must wear it at all times.

If trouble arises, attempting to rescue a swimmer in danger is very dangerous and can lead to multiple drownings. Trained rescuers teach and use a protocol called “Talk, Reach, Throw, Row.”

TALK. Call 911, then talk to the person and see if you can coach them to swim to you on shore or to a boat.

REACH. Next, try to reach them by extending a branch, pole or inflatable boat. Do NOT allow them to grab hold of your body; they may try to pull you in.

THROW. You can throw a distressed person a life jacket, life ring, rope or any other object that will help them stay afloat.

ROW. If necessary, use a boat to get to the person.

Thanks to Wilsonville Police Chief Rob Wurpes for these valuable tips!

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