BEND, Ore. - A report from the Bend Whitewater Park that a 15-year-old surfer was missing in the water prompted a search of the water and river banks Monday afternoon, until officials learned she had contacted her father to report she was out of the water and okay.
The Bend Fire Department responded shortly before 4 p.m. to a water-rescue call as McKay Park after it was reported a 15-year-old girl, wearing a wetsuit, was “washed out” of the wave channel of the whitewater park, said Battalion Chief Dave Howe.
Bend Police launched their drone and fire crews searched the river banks on foot and in a raft for about a half-hour before getting reports the girl had been seen out of the water and had messaged her father that she was okay, Howe said.
Although the outcome was favorable, it was the second swift-water incident on the Deschutes River in Bend in two days, the battalion chief said. A man died after jumping from the First Street Rapids footbridge on Sunday afternoon.
“With the weather turning hotter by the end of the week, the Bend Fire Department stresses the importance of understanding the power of moving water, knowing what the downstream hazards are, and of using a personal flotation device (PFD, or life jacket),” Howe wrote in a news release.