Three Minors Rescued on Molalla River near 99E Bridge

A trio of minors was rescued after a rafting accident left them stranded on the Molalla River below the Highway 99E bridge on the west side of Canby.

Canby Fire Division Chief Matt English said it is believed that the three juveniles — two boys and one girl — got hung up on some debris and were trapped on a sort of manmade “island” protruding from one of the bridge piers in the middle of the river.

First on the call was actually Clackamas Fire District, English said, but they were diverted to a different and — unfortunately — more serious incident at Barton Park.

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The Clackamas Co Water Rescue Consortium responded to a river rescue at 4 p.m. today on the Clackamas River at Barton Park. There were a total of 3 females in distress. 1 female was recovered but has been declared deceased. The other 2 were rescued. #waterrescue #bartonpark

Canby Fire arrived on the scene and completed the extraction with the aid of a water rescue crew from Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue.

Fortunately, there were no injuries. But English said that part of the river has seen numerous drownings over the years, due to unseen pile-ups of debris that entangles boaters — as happened here — and steep drop-offs.

Canby Fire advises against being on the river at this time.

“Yeah, I’m just afraid that now is not the time to be on the water, as cold as it is and as fast as it’s moving,” English said. “I know folks are feeling cooped up, and the weather’s getting warmer, but it’s not safe. We’re just not ready for that yet.”

Children play on the banks of the Molalla River at Canby Community Park, in this file photo from 2020.

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