PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Nine members of the Oregon State University Crew team were rescued after a boat struck a pier during practice Monday evening, throwing them into the fast-moving Willamette River near Corvallis.
The team was conducting a routine practice with several boats just before 5 p.m. when one of the 30-foot boats struck a pier broadside, throwing the 9-person crew into the water.
Crew boats are exempt from normal safety requirements for recreational boats, so there were no life jackets or preservers on board, the Benton County Sheriff’s Office reports.
One of the coaches happened to be in a prop-powered boat, and was able to retrieve all the crew member, the sheriff’s office said. No one was seriously hurt.
The carbon fiber boat itself was wrapped around pier and was declared a total loss. It is valued at $35,000.
The Willamette River is currently very fast, high and cold. The sheriff’s office advises the public to be extremely cautious when boating on the river.