Two recent rescues at Blue Pool prompt safety concerns

Redmond woman in area when teen injured

Two rescues at Tamolitch Blue Pool prompt safety concerns

BEND, Ore. - (Update: Fixing water temperature, signage)

The Tamolitch Blue Pool, located off the McKenzie Pass Highway, is a popular, scenic waterhole where people go to cool off. But two injuries in the past two weeks have some people asking about the safety of the area.

According to the Linn County Sheriff's Office, a 17-year-old girl who was visiting from Texas was in the area with her mother and friends. The teen jumped off a 30-foot cliff Monday afternoon, but as she fell, she hit a rock and landed in 12-18 inches of water. 

Kyra Odom fractured her left hip, according to officials, and people were trying to stabilize her as emergency crews arrived on scene.

Sheriff's Lt. Michelle Duncan said there have been several injuries before, and two people have died since 2012. 

"It's either people who got too close to the edge and have lost their footing and have fallen down the embankment, which is approximately 30 feet up, or they're intentionally jumping into the pool and jumping into an area and causing injuries, which was the case of this last incident," Duncan said. 

Redmond resident Darlene Ashley was taking photos in the Willamette National Forest near the Blue Pool when she encountered two women who were trying to get cellphone reception to call for help. 

"You could see there was a lot of congestion on the far side, which I don't even venture over there, and I've never seen anybody over there before," Ashley said Wednesday. "So I don't know what possessed them to climb up high and jump in the pool." 

Forest officials said the water temperature is cold -- usually in the upper 30s.

Duncan told NewsChannel 21 they expect more people to check out the Blue Pool during the rest of the summer, and urged caution in doing so. 

"Our recommendation to those visiting Blue Pool is to enjoy the scenery," she said. "However, don't jump into the Blue Pool, and stay away from the edge of it."

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