Father and daughter both die after daughter’s raft flips over on Oregon River, it rushes to save her
Father entered to save daughter, officials said
PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A 7-year-old girl whose raft overturned on the Sandy River in Oregon and her father who rushed to save her died despite the efforts of rescuers on Tuesday night.
The first call arrived for emergency services at 8:23 p.m., said Chris Liedle, communications director for the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office. “MPs, first responders, Gresham firefighters flooded the area and attempted to search for the two missing swimmers” near the Stark Street Bridge downstream from Dabney State Park outside of Troutdale.
The father was found first and removed from the water, he said.
“About 10 minutes after receiving the first call to 911, MPs were able to locate an unconscious adult male,” Liedle said. The deputies performed CPR until the doctors arrived and he was taken to the hospital.
About 30 minutes later, authorities said they found the child in the Sandy River. Leidle said MPs learned the girl was floating on the river when her raft overturned.
“Her father tried to rescue her and unfortunately the two did not resurface and family and friends could not find him and the daughter,” he said.
At around 9:40 p.m., he said, the deputies found the girl, performed CPR and rushed her to the hospital.
The father and daughter were both pronounced dead in hospital, officials later said. Their names have not been released.
“Neither of them is believed to have been wearing a life jacket,” Liedle said. “We cannot stress enough that life jackets save lives. They may not be cool. They are available free of charge in the main swimming areas.
He added that this was the third major water rescue call in recent weeks to the region and the second at Dabney State Park this month.
“We considered the Sandy River to be one of the most dangerous rivers,” he said. “It’s glacial runoff, mostly from Mount Hood, it’s cold, fast, and has a rocky bottom.”
Specially trained volunteers from the trauma intervention program responded and provided emotional help, support and resources to the victim’s family, officials said.
“These calls are taking a heavy toll on our staff, our assistants, our firefighters,” Liedle said. “We ask people to keep their thoughts and prayers with family and staff as well. “