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Bend rafter, 16, dies on N. Umpqua River


A 16-year-old Bend girl drowned in a rafting accident Sunday afternoon on the North Umpqua River in southern Oregon. Her body, trapped underwater, finally was recovered from a hazardous spot on the river Monday afternoon.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office says Nichole Pomeroy of Bend became trapped in debris under water after a raft carrying seven people capsized.

Everyone else in the raft made it to shore.

Sheriff’s spokesman Dwes Hutson says the rafters wore life jackets, but Pomeroy’s apparently came off in the water.

The News-Review reports ( ) it was difficult for deputies and Douglas County firefighters to recover the body. They called a construction company for help, and a worker used a chain saw to cut through an underwater tree trunk.

Weekly Construction assisted again Monday, using heavy equipment that was expected to require shutting down at least one lane of Highway 138 East.

Rescuers were able to remove her body from the river around 1:45 p.m. Monday, the sheriff’s office reported.

Deputy Brian Melvin, incident commander, told the paper that the victim got stuck in a root system at the butt of a jammed log in turbulent waters. The other rafters who were with her escaped unscathed.

“These were not experienced rafters,” Melvin said.

Fellow rafters reported the victim had been underwater for about 10 minutes before they called 911 at 2:40 p.m. Search and rescue crews arrived on scene at 3:30 p.m., at which time the victim was determined to be deceased and the surviving rafters interviewed.


Information from: The News-Review,

Article Topic Follows: News

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