This article was published in the McKenzie River Reflections on May 26th.
Vida: Last Tuesday morning, May 17th, several McKenzie River Guides and two members of McKenzie Fire & Rescue’s Water Rescue Team retrieved a driftboat that wrecked on a rock in the middle of the river near milepost 36.8 of the McKenzie Highway.
The boat reportedly overturned two weeks ago in Cooks Rapid, a rocky stretch of the river about a 1/4-mile long. The occupants were able to get safely to shore but since then, McKenzie Fire & Rescue received multiple calls regarding the boat from concerned passersby. The owners decided to donate the boat to the McKenzie River Guides and McKenzie Fire & Rescue’s Life Jacket Lending Program, for which the agencies are very grateful.
River Guides taking part in the retrieval included Steve Schaefers, Ken Helfrich, Randy Dersham, Don Wouda. McKenzie Fire & Rescue Water Rescue Team members LT Bart Thompson and LT Christiana Rainbow Plews Water Rescue Technicians also helped salvage the boat.
The recovery mission went very smoothly. Fortunately no one was hurt in the accident or the recovery. The Guides and Fire Department want to remind everyone to wear life jackets on the river to avoid tragedy.