SALEM, Ore. -- The city of Salem is stepping in to install two life jacket stations at Wallace Marine Park following the drownings of two boys who were last seen in that area.
One will be at the boat ramp, the other at the swimming area, Salem Fire Chief Mike Niblock said in an interview.
Officials are considering putting around 30 life jackets with different sizes at each one, Niblock said.
"This is a clearly preventable tragedy, wearing a life jacket really decreases your odds of drowning and being around a river without a life jacket isn't a smart thing to do," Niblock told KGW.
This comes after Samantha Russell, of Keizer, signaled her intent to put in a life jacket station at Wallace Marine Park and has been raising money to do so. But she says in an email to the Statesman Journal Tuesday evening she was told the city would take on the project.
Two boys have drowned in the Willamette River this summer after going missing at Wallace Marine Park. The body of Allen "Chaz" Pearson was found Monday some 13 miles downriver from where he went missing. Nehemiah Wilson, 11, was found dead in Yamhill County in June.
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