Woman thrown overboard thankful for lifejacket

JASPER, Ore. - A woman thrown from a capsized boat and swept into a tangle of debris thinks she would have died had she not been wearing a lifejacket, a search and rescue official said.

The woman was one of 9 people who launched a flotilla of a half dozen inflatable boats from Elijah Bristow Park around 3 p.m. Saturday.

Two miles down stream, the current overturned a kayak with two women aboard. Both were swept under a pile of debris built up against the riverbank.

The women were trapped for several minutes before getting loose of the debris with the help of their friends, the Lane County Sheriff's Office said.

Firefighters in a boat responded and took the people involved to a landing beneath the Jasper bridge for treatment of minor scrapes and cuts.

John Miller with Lane County Search and Rescue said that portion of the Willamette River is not recommended for novice rafters due to of hazards, inaccessibility and a lack of other boat traffic.