Troutdale is kicking off the summer season on the Sandy River this Memorial Day weekend as lifeguards return to duty at Glenn Otto Park. Beginning Saturday, May 28, the American Medical Response (AMR) River Safety Program will once again provide lifeguards at the Glenn Otto Park beach area on the Sandy River from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. daily.
The lifeguard program was initially set up at Glenn Otto in 1999 and AMR staffs the Park with a minimum of two guards per shift between Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. They typically add additional lifeguards when temperatures and crowds increase.
The Kiwanis Club of the Columbia Gorge will unveil a new statue at the park that honors the lifeguards and the River Safety Program on Friday, March 27 at 11:00 a.m. The bronze sculpture, designed by Chad Caswell, features a male and female lifeguard standing side-by-side.
Glenn Otto Park is a popular summer destination for locals and visitors to our region, but the river can pose serious dangers for swimmers. Even when air temperatures rise to the 80s or 90s, the water remains very cold and the currents are swift and unpredictable. Water levels and currents can fluctuate and change from day to day. Debris in the water can also pose a major hazard to swimmers who could potentially become trapped and held underwater by roots, trees, or limbs.
Drownings are largely preventable if the swimmer is wearing a lifejacket that fits properly. Wearing a lifejacket when you are in or near the water could mean the difference between an idyllic summer day and tragedy. Children should wear lifejackets at all times when they are at the beach and be within arm's reach under constant supervision. If you forget to bring a lifejacket, there will be free loaners available for daily use in all sizes from infant to adults.
The health and safety of the public is our priority, and we hope that everyone who heads to the river this summer has a safe and wonderful experience!
Source: City of Troutdale