What is typically thought of as a shallow and docile river, was the scene of a near-tragedy on Saturday, after a mom and child were swept downstream from a popular beach along the Applegate River.
Rescue crews from Rural Metro Fire, AMR-Josephine County, Grants Pass Firefighters, Josephine County Sheriff’s and Oregon State Police mobilized to the popular Turtle Lane recreational area off Fish Hatchery Road after a child playing along the water edge was swept downstream in an inter-tube. The child mom went into the river, in pursuit to catch the tube, only to be carried away in the swift, cold water. At some point both mom and child became separated from the tube, and mom ended up on the right-hand side of the river, and child got hung up in some brush on the left-side.
Multiple rescue personnel searched the banks downstream, making access from private residents, until they were located nearly 1 mile downstream.
Crews even trekked down the trail system from the Weatherby side of Fish Hatchery Park, thanks to the assistance of a Josephine County Parks caretaker.
Crews on both sides of the river had to cut brush away to access the locations.
Mom and child were uninjured, but were transported to the hospital for evaluation from the water exposure. Neither were wearing life jackets.
Authorities say this “close call” is yet another reminder of how important it is to recognize the potential hazards associated with cold, swift water. A lot of attention has been given to the Rogue River lately due to recent drownings, but equal attention and messages of safety needs to be given the Applegate River as well.
Source: Rural Metro