PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – For the second day in a row, first responders were called out for a water rescue on the Sandy River near Oxbow Park. While Wednesday’s rescue ended tragically after a man drowned, first responders say Thursday evening’s rescue luckily turned out differently after three people who went under were able to make it to shore and are expected to be okay.

Gresham Fire responded to the area of Oxbow Park where a young man — possibly a teen — got out of a boat, thinking he was in shallower water, and started to struggle. His father saw him and went in but also started to struggle and then a woman went in, before all three were underwater. 

First responders are still working to get details but say the three eventually made it to shore and were taken by ambulance to an area hospital to get checked out for possible dry drowning risks but are expected to be okay. They say this is a good reminder of using personal flotation devices whenever you’re out on the water. 

“They didn’t have life jackets and I understand not everybody wants to wear them but at least have them with you in a boat or next to you on shore,” said Jeremy Forrest, a firefighter with Gresham Fire Department. “It’s a hot day, everybody’s trying to get to the water so please be prepared.”

Gresham Fire says there are multiple entry points along the Sandy River with plenty of life jackets available to borrow for free. Unfortunately, they were also just out on the river Wednesday for a rescue which resulted in a drowning where a man who was not wearing a life jacket.

On Thursday, the victim was identified as 46-year-old Derek Alan Johnson of Portland, who witnesses say, was stand-up paddling on the Sandy River when he fell in and did not resurface. Crews recovered him a short time later.

With multiple drownings this week as many head out on the water to escape the extreme heat, responders continue to emphasize the importance of being safe out on the water and wearing a personal flotation device. They’re asking people to please utilize the free life jackets that are available to borrow.