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Jul-17-2006 22:50printcomments

The Avoidance of Tragedy is a Story in Itself

We often only hear of the tragic water events in Clackamas County. This is a story told through a Letter of Commendation about one life that was saved.

Police shadow figures artwork with medal

(CLACKAMAS) - Date: July 17, 2006 Re: Commendation for July 16th life saving at Carver Boat Ramp Dear Sir, I am writing to commend Reserve Deputy Donnie McCafferty for his rescue of an unidentified Hispanic male swimmer at the Carver Boat Ramp yesterday. I learned from Deputy Dick Jacobs that he and Deputy McCafferty were at the Carver ramp assisting units with parks enforcement, when an unidentified Hispanic male began having difficulty swimming at the same area where two men recently drowned, just above the bridge. The man later reported that he was out with two of his friends, got into water too deep for his feet to touch bottom, and got caught in the current and tired quickly trying to keep his head above water. Deputy McCafferty reported that the man yelled for help and rolled over on his back, and was having trouble keeping his head above water. Deputy McCafferty used a throw bag in what Deputy Jacobs called a "textbook rescue," getting the bag to the struggling man about 50' to 75' away in one throw. The man was able to grab the rope and Deputy McCafferty brought him into shore. The man did not give his name, but thanked the deputies over and over for saving his life. I wish to commend Deputy McCafferty for his professionalism, foresight, preparedness and swift response in this incident. His actions saved another man from drowning in what has become a precarious area. Deputy Jacobs is also to be commended for his role in the rescue, and I have attached a copy of his memorandum to this commendation. With your approval will you place a copy of this commendation in their training files. I would appreciate you forwarding this information to OSMB and Sergeant Ed Mura. Respectfully submitted, Sergeant Graham Phalen CCSO Marine Unit


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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.

The NAACP of the Willamette Valley