Injuries keep local emergency crews busy

Three men were transported to the hospital in separate incidents

To improve water safety, recreational water users should:

o Learn how to swim and never swim alone. Always practice the buddy system while in the water.

o Watch swimmers while in or near the water. Designate a responsible adult who can swim to watch those in the water, especially children.

o Use U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets, especially for children and adults who are not strong swimmers.

o Learn CPR and basic first aid.

o Obey posted rules.

o Know the setting and be aware of strong currents, drop-offs and other potential hazards.

o Never dive off of bridges and cliffs. Winter storms can shift underwater boulders, creating summer diving hazards where none existed the year before.

Source: Clark County

To improve water safety, recreational water users should:

o Learn how to swim and never swim alone. Always practice the buddy system while in the water.

o Watch swimmers while in or near the water. Designate a responsible adult who can swim to watch those in the water, especially children.

o Use U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets, especially for children and adults who are not strong swimmers.

o Learn CPR and basic first aid.

o Obey posted rules.

o Know the setting and be aware of strong currents, drop-offs and other potential hazards.

o Never dive off of bridges and cliffs. Winter storms can shift underwater boulders, creating summer diving hazards where none existed the year before.

Source: Clark County

Local emergency crews responded to three separate incidents during the weekend that involved injuries caused by jumping into the Washougal River.

According to Paramedic Kaitlyn Hildenbrand of Skamania County Emergency Medical Services, crews were dispatched twice to Naked Falls and once to Dougan Falls.

On Saturday at approximately 4:10 p.m., a 20-year-old male was injured after jumping from a tree limb approximately 40 to 50 feet into the water at Naked Falls. He struck a rock outcropping and suffered back and arm injuries.

He was rescued out of the river and pulled up the steep bank with the assistance of a rope system, then driven by ambulance to a landing zone where Life Flight transported him to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center in Vancouver.

The next day at the same location, a 31-year-old male received leg injuries after jumping into the water from a 10-foot ledge, then striking a submerged rock at 3:14 p.m.

Bystanders assisted the man to the water’s edge, and remained with him until rescue operations could be performed. The victim was floated over the swift moving water to a steep embankment, and maneuvered up to the roadway using a rope system. The patient was transported by ambulance to PeaceHealth.

Also on Sunday, at 2:55 p.m. a 25-year-old male struck his head on a rock while at Dougan Falls. Family members were concerned about his change in behavior, and met the responding ambulance at Skamania County Fire Station 4-1, where he was transported to PeaceHealth to be treated for a head injury.

Hildenbrand said Skamania County Fire Districts 4 and 5, Clark County technical rescue team and the Camas-Washougal Fire Department were vital in providing the rescue operations. The Skamania County Sheriff’s Office was also on scene.

Temperatures that soared above 90 degrees brought many people to local waterways over the weekend.

According to Clark County Public Works, swimming, wading and playing in the water are great ways to cool off on hot summer days, but there also are risks in lakes and rivers. Swift currents, abrupt drop-offs and cold water all create dangers, even for experienced swimmers.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 43 percent of drownings occur in rivers, lakes and other natural water bodies. Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury deaths among children ages 1 to 4.

More than 1,500 children and teenagers drown in the United State each year. In Washington state, an average of 25 children and teens drown each year.

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