Woman Drowns in River Near Merlin

video preview image

MERLIN, Ore. — A woman drowns in the Rogue River and the Josephine County Sheriff’s Office says the drowning could have been prevented.

The owner of Black Bar Lodge was looking at the Rogue River when he saw a body floating in the waters Saturday, around 4 p.m.

With the help of others, John James went out to the river and recovered the body.

The Josephine County Sheriff’s Office says the woman was out rafting about 15 miles from Galice. They say her raft hit some rocks and then she went into the river where she got pulled under. She was not wearing her life jacket at the time.

When James found her he says he tried to resuscitate her, “We tried doing some basic CPR, not knowing how long she had been in the water or anything and didn’t get any response at all sadly.”

“It seemed like there was nothing that could be done for her at that point. She had clearly drowned,” James said.

Sheriff Gil Gilbertson says the woman was in her 40’s and was not from the Southern Oregon area.

The area of the river where the woman was rafting is considered a class three, with class three being medium waves. Class six is the highest level.