Accident Database

Report ID# 2747

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Accident Description

Man presumed drowned in rafting incident

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A man is presumed to have drowned Wednesday night after the inflatable raft he was in capsized, according to the Lane County Sheriff's Office. Two other men were rescued in the incident that took place on the Willamette River north of Coburg shortly before 8 p.m. None were wearing a life jacket, the sheriff's office said. They were trying to float from Eugene to Portland using light-duty rubber rafts. The sheriff's office did not release the men's names.

They overturned their rafts near Lanes Turn Road. One man reached the east bank and one was rescued mid-stream by a responding search and rescue boat. Crews worked well after dark from both the river and shore but were unable to locate the third man, who is presumed drowned, according to the sheriff's office. Harrisburg, Junction City, Coburg and Lane Rural Fire Departments assisted the sheriff's marine and search and rescue teams. The incident is under investigation.

The sheriff's office continues to strongly recommend people stay off the McKenzie and Willamette rivers due to water flows typically associated with winter, and large amounts of floating or partially submerged trees, logs and other debris. Current water conditions have led to a high number of water incidents and water rescues over the past week on both the Willamette and McKenzie Rivers. OP


Man Rafting In Oregon Believed Drowned

POSTED: 3:08 pm CDT May 26, 2008

COBURG, Ore. -- Oregon authorities said an Overland Park, Kan., man was believed to have drowned while rafting the Willamette River. Officials said Robertson Winters, 22, was with two other people whose rafts capsized. They were planning to raft from Eugene to Portland. Authorities hadn't found Winters' body and planned to continue searching from boats on Saturday.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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