Woman in Santiam River screams for help, rescued

Marion County

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A woman was heard calling for help while trapped by a strong current in the Santiam River on Thursday, officials said.

Workers from a Knife River facility called 911 and tried to throw the woman a flotation device from a bridge while waiting for authorities.

On the scene, by First Bridge St. in Stayton, first responders found the 32-year-old woman clinging to brush in the river — unable to reach the shore, authorities said.

Deputies threw a rescue line to get a flotation device to the woman as deputies waited for a water rescue team to arrive, officials said.

Jefferson County Fire District sent a rescue boat and swimmer who helped the woman to safety. 

Authorities said the woman was living in a camp near the river and became trapped in the water while trying to leave the area due to rising water levels.

Officials said the woman was taken to a hospital for evaluation. 

“We were fortunate the workers from Knife River heard the victim calling out for help.  Their efforts to find the woman and to quickly call 911 definitely made a difference today,” Undersheriff Jeff Wood said.

Multiple agencies aided in the rescue including Jefferson Fire District, Stayton Fire District, Stayton Police Department, Salem Fire Department, Linn County Sheriff’s Office, Albany Fire Department, Willamette Valley Communications Center, and METCOM 911. 

Officials said they were prepared for the rescue as heavy rain forecasts allowed them to anticipate such situations and coordinated with Marion County Sheriff’s Marine Patrol. 

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