Water Rescue on Santiam River in Stayton

At 1:30 p.m. November 11, 2021, workers from a Knife River facility called 911 after hearing a woman calling for help after she became trapped in the current of the Santiam River near the 1st Street Bridge in Stayton.  When first responders arrived at the scene, the 32-year-old woman was clinging to brush in the water, unable to safely get to shore. Workers from Knife River were on the bridge trying to throw a flotation device out to the woman.

Deputies threw a rescue line to the female from the bridge and used it to get a personal flotation device out to her while waiting for additional help to arrive.  The Jefferson Fire District put a boat out onto the water and had a swimmer help the woman to safety.

Responders learned the woman had been living in a camp near the river and became stuck in the current while attempting to leave due to the rising water levels.  She was taken to a local hospital for an evaluation.

Undersheriff Jeff Wood said, “We were fortunate the workers from Knife River heard the victim calling out for help.  Their efforts to find the woman and to quickly call 911 definitely made a difference today.”

Several agencies actively participated in this response including the Jefferson Fire District, Stayton Fire District, Stayton Police Department, Salem Fire Department, Linn County Sheriff’s Office, Albany Fire Department, Willamette Valley Communications Center, and METCOM 911. 

In anticipation of the heavy rains forecasted this week, deputies from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol proactively coordinated with local agencies to ensure water rescue resources were available for situations such as this.  The Sheriff’s Office would like to thank our partner agencies for their preparation efforts and swift response.