My wife and I were returning from shopping Sunday afternoon and noticed how high the South Umpqua was from the Stewart Park bridge. When we looked up river there appeared to be a man in or on a boat with other boats and debris surrounding him. We commented about how strange that looked but continued across the bridge and turned west on Harvard. We went up to West Harvard Furniture, quickly picked up a sample and turned around to go check out what was going on. We saw the person and boats floating west of the bridge and turned around in Stewart Park and headed back to get on Harvard. About that time a police car came with sirens and lights and stopped on the bridge. He then turned around and we headed out Harvard to where it becomes Old Melrose. By then other people had seen the incident and were heading in the same direction. We pulled off the side of the road with others and waited to see if he was okay. Many emergency vehicles came by with lights and sirens while we waited. As he came by, we hollered out to him asking if he was okay. He responded "yes". Just beyond us one of the police officers yelled to him that they had a boat on the way and he responded "right on". Just after that a lady who was his neighbor stopped where we were waiting and said that she was his neighbor on Neill Avenue and that they were trying to save the boats and the dock broke loose with him and the boats on it. By the time we left it was getting dark and the boat was being launched to try to catch up with him either from behind or I assume around the river forks.
Raging South Umpqua Carries Man & Boats
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