'Eclipse floaters' plan to watch the big event while on the river

Some plan on swimming, floating while viewing eclipse

PORTLAND, Ore. - Are you looking for a place to watch the solar eclipse? And do you own a swimming suit?

The Human Access Project is planning an eclipse viewing float on the Willamette River Monday morning.

The meetup is scheduled to start at 8:30 a.m. on August 21 at the East Bank Esplanade, just below Portland Fire station 21.

“We're inviting people to ride their bikes or to walk or skateboard down here,” said spokeswoman Leah Middlebrook. “The idea is enjoy the eclipse without burning gas.”

She said they would provide air pumps to inflate floating devices.

At a River Huggers swim Tuesday night, many participants said they planned to return to the water for the Eclipse.

“I'm going to come down here on my work break around 9:30 and jump in the water,” said Daniel Hough. He added he would love to be in the eclipse's path of totality but under these circumstances, 99.4 percent sounded pretty good.

“There's really no place I'd rather be than swimming, so the opportunity to see the eclipse and do that at the same time…considering I can avoid traffic and stay cool.”

Middlebrook said the float is open to people of all swimming abilities but there won’t be a lifeguard on duty. She said lifejackets are strongly recommended and she suggested reviewing safety guidelines for swimming in the Willamette.

“This is a once in a lifetime thing for all of us,” said Middlebrook. “Wear your eclipse glasses but most of all, just dig it.”

© 2017 KGW-TV


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