Water safety warnings amp up with triple digit temps

Boaters and swimmers should always have life jackets

The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office Marine Patrol Unit talks to boaters about life jacket safety on August 2, 2017. (KOIN)
The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office Marine Patrol Unit talks to boaters about life jacket safety on August 2, 2017. (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — As temperatures continue to set records in the Portland metro area, people are looking for ways to cool off, including jumping into the water.

It was busy on the Willamette River on Wednesday, when Portland saw a high of 102. The Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit was patrolling to see if people were being safe. The Clackamas marine unit patrols 30 miles of the Willamette River with extra units May to September.

Meg’s Moments for Life Jackets gives away free life jackets. (KOIN)

“We just try to be out as much as we can and it’s usually the same areas for us,” said Deputy Jed Wilson. “It’s High Rocks, it’s the Clackamas River, it’s right down here at Doll Beach. You know, you just try to give those places some extra attention.”

During Wednesday’s patrol, there was a troubling theme with many swimmers and boaters not wearing life jackets.

Wilson said even though it’s hot out and the water is warm, life jackets should still always be worn. No matter how calm the water looks, it can be dangerous for anyone.

“Life jackets are at the top of the list because no matter what happens to the boat, that’s probably what’s going to save you,” Wilson said.

If you’re on a boat, children need to wear life jackets at all times and there needs to be one on board for everyone. If you plan to kayak or paddle board, you also need a life jacket with you.

“People get mad,” Wilson said. “I guess I feel bad if somebody gets a ticket a $260 ticket for not having a life jacket or not wearing a life jacket when they’re supposed to be. That’s a pretty good reminder and hopefully next time they will.”

KOIN 6 weather forecast
Download the PDX Weather App