June 24, 2006 Rafter drowns on the Clackamas River
By John Capell And KATU.com Web Staff
CLACKAMAS COUNTY, Ore. - A man's body was discovered in the Clackamas River on Saturday. The Clackamas County River Patrol believe it is 29-year-old Geoffrey Reynolds, who has been missing since Friday evening. Reynolds went rafting on the river with three other people around 3:30 p.m. on Friday.
At river mile 16.5, there is a severe 90 degree bend in the river that turns into a Class 3 rapid. "You've got a lot of river flow directed straight at the rock wall," said Deputy Doug Olsen with the Clackamas County River Patrol. "It causes a large whirlpool." According to a police report, Reynolds tried to grab a rock to pull the raft toward the shore. But the raging waters threw him and two of the other rafters into the river. One of the people was able to get back onto the raft, while the other swam to shore. But the strong current pulled Reynolds farther out into the river. He was not wearing a life jacket.
Earlier on Friday, another rafting party fell into the Clackamas River. They were able to get out of the water without any injuries. Rescuers said the big difference is that they were wearing life jackets. "The people that flipped their boat had life vests, and they were able to rescue themselves from the water," said Lt. John Hopkins with the Clackamas Fire District. "The people that weren't wearing life vests got into trouble." Despite a hefty fine of $237 for not wearing a life jacket, Hopkins said many people still go rafting without them