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Not so hot: Bend’s illegal bridge jumpers to be cited


As the weather heats up, the Bend Park and Rec District said Friday it’s cracking down on illegal jumping from bridges in its parks, saying there’s plenty of safer, legal ways to cool off. No-trespassing signs are going up, and violators will be cited, officials said.

“It’s perfectly legal to swim in the river,” said Bend police Officer Kecia Weaver. “There are some safe beaches that are on either side of this bridge. We just are asking people not to jump off the bridges, to avoid injuries, so everyone can have a good summer in Bend.”

One park-goer shared his thoughts about the rule and why it may be a necessity.

“I guess it is really a safety issue,” Kyle Schmid said. “More than anything, it’s hard to see the bottom and what’s underneath the water. So, I can understand them wanting to put some laws in place to stop that.”

Here’s a news release issued Friday by the park district:

When the summer weather heats up in Bend, many people are enticed to jump into the Deschutes River at several bridges within the community including the pedestrian bridges at Columbia, Farewell Bend, First Street Rapids and Riverbend parks.

Bend Park and Recreation District reminds people that bridge jumping is illegal and dangerous. To help curtail jumping, no trespassing signs are being installed along the river banks and law enforcement will be citing jumpers.

“District staff understands the attraction to splash in the river, yet jumping can be extremely dangerous,” explained Park Services Director Pat Erwert.

“Last week, there was a near-crisis incident when an illegal bridge jumper landed on a kayaker in the river,” Erwert said. “Bridge jumpers risk hitting a rock or log that can’t be seen from the surface. The potential for injuries from jumping could be paralyzing or life threatening and, sadly, there are previous tragedies.”

People are encouraged to enjoy the river by floating, boating or swimming. The park district offers more than a dozen parks featuring river access. A webpage with detailed information on floating and paddling the Deschutes River is available at the District’s website at

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