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Details to know about for River Rescue needs

Post new topic   Reply to topic    Northwest Kiteboarding -> Gorge / Portland / Oregon Coast
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Since 18 Jul 2006
251 Posts


PostMon May 01, 17 10:33 am    Details to know about for River Rescue needs Reply with quote

Here are some important safety/rescue details that we learned about during a meeting with the Hood River County Sheriffs office earlier this month.

HOOD RIVER AREA (AKA-CORRIDOR Stevenson to The Dalles region)
Main contact - Hood River Sheriffs Office
Marine Patrol Deputy - Curtis Kowall
VHF channel 16 - most local boaters hail on this channel and the Coast Guard has replay towers that allow them to moniter this channel.

The HR Sheriffs office is your quickest response for water rescue needs anywhere between Stevenson and The Dalles. Stevenson has some boats, but response times will be likely quite long and they cannot be on the water during windy situations.

The new Hood River marine patrol deputy is planning to be on or near the water every weekend throughout the summer peak season, especially during peak summer weekends and during specific wind/water user events.

This is not a guarantee that you will automatically be rescued whenever you need it. A proper rescue always begins with a friend or concerned water user identifying a person in need of help, communicating with that person about what their problem/emergency is and then either assisting them to safety, or immediately contacting the Hood River County Sheriffs office to communicate specific details about the situation and where they are currently located.
Response times depend on where the deputy is located at (on or off the water) and where the boat is coming from (he could be anywhere between Stevenson and the Dalles).

During a rescue, if they are called out, their #1 priority is retrieving the person in distress. If you are a kiter/windsurfer, please STAY CLEAR!! Close proximity kiter/windsurfers force the boat driver to delay approaching the person in need of rescue.
Gear is not their priority and they will only pick up gear if it is disassembled and able to fit into the boat without causing any damage to the motor or propulsion unit. They are not gear retrievers.

SUPers/OC Paddlers :
Bright colors are being requested due to collision concerns because boaters, sailors and kiters cannot see them much of the time during windy conditions.
Always wear some sort of neoprene coverage, even on sunny warm days.

75 to 25 - Visitors versus Locals the Sheriffs office performs rescues. There are more visitors than locals, and locals typically look after each other and are aware of the personal responsibility of taking actions into your own hands to self rescue.
4.9million users - Mt Hood National Scenic Area
Majority of funding comes from Hood River County Taxpayers.
Water support funding is greatly supplemented by the Oregon State Marine Board (w/o this support, marine patrol would only be on-call marine rescue)

Rob is the port properties manager and you will likely see him strolling/patrolling or in his green truck. He is both a good contact person and also a person who will be patrolling the beaches trying to keep users respecting the rules/guidelines.
HOST - The Chao's will not be back this year due to John requiring some health recovery needs this summer(they plan to be back next summer). The Port is interviewing for hosts for the 2017 summer.

THE DALLES to JOHN DAY DAM (AKA - Celilo to Rufus)
Sherman County Sheriffs Office (541) 565-3622 (M-F, and closed noon-1:30pm)
Most of their water safety focuses around the Deschutes River and dealing with the needs of the fishing community.
Response time cannot be expected to be very quick and with river currents being stronger in this section of river, tracking persons in distress is important in predicting river current influences.

Gilam County Sheriffs office - 541-384-2851
Water patrol safety is likely not a high priority for this area
Advice from users in this area is to contact the Port of Arlington and they have "a guy" who is usually willing to hop in his boat to help with emergencies if/when he is available.
Self rescue here is critical and mandatory. If you see someone in distress, it is your priority to assist them until they are within safety's reach.

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Since 21 Jul 2009
961 Posts
Hood River

PostMon May 01, 17 10:43 am     Reply with quote

Awesome information! thanks for posting.
Putting the phone number into my cell - hope I never need it.

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Post new topic   Reply to topic    Northwest Kiteboarding -> Gorge / Portland / Oregon Coast All times are GMT - 8 Hours
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