Dramatic Hagg Lake dropoff revealed

Family of 4 drowned in Hagg Lake at this spot in 2014

On the left, Henry Hagg Lake near Sain Creek in 2014, the spot where a family of 4 drowned. On the right, that same spot on Sept. 10, 2015 showing the dramatic drop-off normally covered by water. (KOIN)
On the left, Henry Hagg Lake near Sain Creek in 2014, the spot where a family of 4 drowned. On the right, that same spot on Sept. 10, 2015 showing the dramatic drop-off normally covered by water. (KOIN)

GASTON, Ore. (KOIN) — In August 2014, a family of 4 drowned in Hagg Lake in an area where the biggest hazard is a sudden drop-off.

That section near Sain Creek has dried up, revealing just how steep and dramatic the drop off is.

“When there’s water up here you have no idea where these are, how big they are,” said Capt. Chris Woodford with Forest Grove Fire & Rescue. “Once you slip into one, you can’t get a footing to climb back out of it. You just slip on it.”

Just that one extra step, Woodford said, “and all of a sudden now you’re maybe over your heard. If you don’t know how to swim or don’t have a life jacket, it’s not going to be pleasant.”

These ditches can form anywhere that lakes are fed with water runoff. When the water is high, people can’t see the drop offs.

Since that family drowned, warning signs have been posted and a total of 9 life jacket stations are around the lake.

Henry Hagg Lake near Sain Creek in the spot where a family of 4 drowned in 2014. The lower water levels revealed the dramatic drop-off normally covered by water, Sept. 10, 2015. (KOIN)
Henry Hagg Lake near Sain Creek in the spot where a family of 4 drowned in 2014. The lower water levels revealed the dramatic drop-off normally covered by water, Sept. 10, 2015. (KOIN)

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