Accident Database

Report ID# 3255

  • Equipment Trap
  • PFD Not Worn or Present
  • Near Drowning
  • Other

Accident Description

Sherwood man saves wife who was pinned underwater in Clackamas River

The Sherwood Gazette, Jul 27, 2009, Updated 19.4 hours ago

Tragedy was averted by the persistent and heroic efforts of a Sherwood man who dislodged his submerged wife from the grip of the Clackamas River Sunday, reviving her by administering CPR. At 5:30 p.m., Clackamas County Dispatch received a report of a female who had been submerged in the water, retrieved from the water and then revived. Clackamas County Marine Patrol responded to the scene near Paradise Cove, along the Clackamas River, between McIver State Park and Barton. Clackamas County Deputy Scott Napoli arrived on the scene with American Medical Response and Estacada Fire Department rescue personnel.

He reported that Karen Elaine Pratt, 33, of Sherwood, had been navigating the river with her husband Kent Martin Pratt, 35; accompanied by their children and members of an additional family, who also had children, when the incident occurred. The group had been reported floating down the river from McIver Park to Barton Park, when the mishap occurred, involving a kayak that was tied and attached to a 6-person raft with a length of yellow rope. As they proceeded down river the kayak advanced in front of the raft while moving fast through a rapid with a large rock. The raft and kayak struck the big rock simultaneously, deputies reported, and the kayak found itself lodged against the big rock, while the attached raft flipped, dumping all four passengers from the raft into the river.

Everyone was able to swim to shore with the exception of the victim, Karen Pratt. Pratt remained submerged under water and is believed to have been pinned underwater by the strong current while entangled with the yellow rope used to attach the two crafts together. It was later discovered that neither Karen Pratt nor her husband wore life jackets at the time. The children with them had on life jackets while on the water. Her husband Kent tried in vain several times to dislodge his wife from the grip of the river. Finally, after several attempts, he was able to rescue her from her submerged, lodged position in the Clackamas and brought her to the safety of the shoreline.

Kent Pratt immediately began to administer CPR and revived the lifeless body of his wife, who was also attended to by rescue personnel representing American Medical Response and Estacada Fire Department. She was transported from the scene conscious and breathing to Providence Hospital. On Monday, she was reported in fair condition at Providence Hospital.

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