Rescue teams are facing rough, cold water and large boulders this morning as they continue efforts to save a man who was stranded after accidentally heading into a dangerous part of theSandy River on Saturday.
The man, who is uninjured and whose name has not been released, was paddling down the river yesterday with friends when his kayak veered to the right and sent him into a rough area of Boulder Rapid just east of the city of Sandy, according to Deputy Nate Thompson, search and rescue coordinator for the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office.
The man's friends called 9-1-1 just before 7 p.m. Saturday, and Clackamas County's water rescue team and members of the Swift water team attempted to get to him, but they were blocked by a vertical cliff, Class IV whitewater and large boulders.
As night fell, rescuers were unable to continue their operations and decided it was safest to shelter the man and continue in the morning.
Efforts resumed at daybreak today. As of about 8 a.m., crew members from Clackamas County Search and Rescue, Pacific Northwest Search and Rescue, and Mountain Wave Emergency Communications were trying to get to the man.
The river's water temperature is in the low 50s or cooler, Thompson said, and reaching the man requires rescuers to rappel down to him.
"Basically, he's surrounded by cliffs," Thompson said. "Even to get to where we have to rappel is extremely difficult."
Thompson said a helicopter is expected to arrive at about 9 a.m., and teams hope to rescue the man within a couple of hours.