PORTLAND - Dressed in full uniform, a couple dozen deputies from around Oregon repeatedly jumped into Lake Oswego High School’s swimming pool for spring water safety training Thursday.
The trainees, who patrol Oregon’s waterways, are on day three of the two-week State Marine Academy.
Organized by the State Marine Board, the yearly course teaches deputies and state troopers how to do their jobs on the water.
“If your head goes under there you lose sight of your target or goal,” yelled Will Coleman of the Coos County Sheriff’s Office.
The proper way to jump into the water, pulling a person to shore and treading water for five minutes while dressed in full patrol gear were among the drills taught during Thursday’s training.
“(The) biggest thing I want them to take away is to realize what their abilities are, or their lack of ability,” said Coleman. “And, hopefully if they’re weak this will ingrain in them, I need to go home and work on this stuff.”
Coleman said the training will be crucial in the coming months as more people take to local rivers and lakes.
Preliminary data released by the Oregon Health Authority shows that in 2012 there were 52 drownings in the state.