Man, 71, rescued after falling down riverbank

A 71-year-old Lebanon man fell down a 40-foot embankment and into the South Santiam River on Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 12, near the Marks Slough Trail. 

A bystander noticed a dog pacing near the edge of the embankment and took a closer look to find the elderly man and another dog clinging to the embankment at the water’s edge.

The Lebanon Fire District responded and initiated a low-angle rope rescue of the victim, who was in stable condition but unable to stand or walk due to fatigue and hypothermia. 

Firefighters used ropes and mechanical advantage systems to lower rescuers to the victim, load the man into a Stokes basket, and then haul the victim and rescuers up the embankment. 

The man was transported to Lebanon Community Hospital for treatment of hypothermia. The dogs were given a ride home by their human mom.

The Lebanon Fire District is reminding local residents that  rivers are extremely dangerous in winter, with low temperatures and increased levels of debris. If you will be out walking on trails or near rivers, always notify someone of where you plan to go and what time you plan to return.