Male rescued by firefighters in South Santiam River near Bates Bridge

Lebanon firefighters and water rescue technicians rescued a male who, reportedly, had fallen off a flotation device in the 40000 block of McDowell Creek Drive shortly after noon Saturday, near Bates Bridge.

A news release from LFD did not indicate the time of the rescue or the age of the victim, but the Linn County Sheriff’s log reported a water rescue in that location at 12:40 p.m. According to LFD, initial information stated a male had flipped from his inflatable water tube and gone under water. First-arriving responders were able to make contact with the victim, who made it to the river bank with the help of bystanders.

Due to the victim’s inability to safely navigate the steep terrain of the river bank, a low-angle rope rescue took place. The rescue utilized a mechanical advantage rope system along with a stokes stretcher to bring the victim up over the edge of the river bank.

The victim was evaluated by medics and transported to the hospital with minor injuries. The rescue group was comprised of three technicians and three operations personnel.

Lebanon Fire District responded to the scene with 18 personnel and received support from LCSO, Albany Fire Department for district coverage during the incident, and the Oregon Department of Forestry Sweet Home Unit who assisted in the search of the victim by utilizing their reconnaissance drone.

With high temperatures forecasted for the upcoming week, the Lebanon Fire District is reminding citizens about the importance of water safety; especially the importance of wearing a life jacket when in a moving body of water.

The Lebanon Fire District provides free, single-day use life jackets at three locations in Lebanon. Life jacket kiosks are located at both boat ramps in Waterloo Park, and the boat ramp at Gill’s Landing. Borrowers must fill out a waiver form prior to use and return their life jacket to the kiosk before leaving the park.

Life jackets range in size from infant to adult large. They are all red and blue, and stamped with the LFD logo and jacket number.

Loaner life jackets are also available at Sweet Home Fire and Ambulance District headquarters, 1099 Long St.