SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- Community members are concerned about the dangerous river conditions this year after multiple water rescues this past weekend, including one that ended in the death of 58-year-old Bryan Beyerlin of Springfield.
Officials with Eugene Springfield Fire said a life jacket could have saved his life.
Springfield resident Debbie Meeks said she lives along the river and said this year she has noticed increased water levels.
"The water was higher than it's ever been,” Meeks said. “The way I access the river is through a creek, and the creek is never more than nine inches, and it was literally three feet high.”
Officials said that means there could be more debris in the water. And even if the water looks calm in one area, it may not be calm everywhere. They said an accident could happen in a split second, so they are urging people to be aware.
“Nobody plans on having those accidents, but accidents do happen, and it's always worth it to be conscious of what's in front of you,” said Vida resident Andrew Hess.
@LaneSheriffOR is in need of youth sized life jackets in good condition for the Life Jacket Exchange. If you have a gently used life jacket you are no longer using, we want it! Donated life jackets accepted at the Sheriff's Office, 125 E. 8th Ave, Eug. Thank you Lane County! pic.twitter.com/D4kXQk1lUF
— Lane County Sheriff (@LaneSheriffOR) May 30, 2019
There will be a life jacket exchange at the Cabela’s in the Gateway Mall on June 15 and 16 where you can bring the life jacket your child has outgrown and exchange it for one that fits properly.