GRANTS PASS, Ore. — An off-duty nurse aided in the rescue of a rafter who was swept down the Rogue River after his raft overturned on Thursday afternoon, according to Rural Metro Fire.
The fire agency said that the rafter hit the rapids just below Chinook Park when his raft flipped. The man tried to hang onto his vessel as they rounded the corner, but lost his grip. When someone called 911, he was last seen floating downstream.
"Rescue crews from Rural Metro Fire, Grants Pass Fire, American Medical Response and numerous sheriff's deputies scrambled to get on both sides of the river to begin the search," Rural Metro said.
Luckily, the currents deposited the boater —who was wearing a life jacket, the agency said — onto the shore on the right side of the river. However, the bank at that area was too steep for him to climb up.
"As rescuers were getting into position and developing a plan for extraction, the true hero of the day came in the form of an off-duty ER nurse rafting downstream with her family," Rural Metro continued.
The nurse was able to pick up the boater and a nearby rescuer from the bank, bringing them downstream to Tom Pearce Park. The hapless rafter received a medical evaluation once they were safely ashore.
"The value of wearing a life jacket on the river, as well as coincidental timing of the nurse in a raft, all contribute to a successful outcome," Rural Metro concluded.