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.