High wind, rough water keep County’s Marine Patrol busy

When Hood River County Marine Deputy Mike Anderson got up Friday, he figured it was going to be one of those days.

High winds and heavy chop on the Columbia River offered to make things difficult for boaters, so Anderson decided to stay close to the marina and his powerboat.

It turned it to be a smart decision.

Two catamarans in trouble made for a busy day for local law enforcement.

The first catamaran flipped near the mouth of the White Salmon River Friday morning.

While the sailors managed to get the boat righted again, Anderson warned them that the boat was likely to have to have difficulty in the weather conditions.

“I told them they were probably going to get wet,” he said.

The boat wound up flipping three more times before they called it a day and returned to the Hood River Marina.

“I saw them as they pulled into the marina and they said ‘Yeah, it was a little windy,’” Anderson said.

The next call came in around 4 p.m. when another catamaran was reported capsized in the river near the Hood River-Wasco County line.

The sailors reportedly tried to right the boat several times, but each time it just flipped again.

“The wind was just way too strong for that Cat,” said Anderson.

With an OSP trooper spotting from the freeway, Anderson picked up Fish and Game officer Justin Frazier and again went on the river.

The sheriff’s boat towed the catamaran into slack water behind Stanley Rock.

With the shelter from the wind the sailors, one from Gresham and one from White Salmon, were able to flip the 16-foot yellow Hobiecat over and get under way again.

Anderson said that while high winds can make it seem like a good day for sailing, those going out on the water need to be aware of their capabilities and those of their boats.

“They need to be aware that the wind has a steady but also a high peak gust. If they are using their big sails they need be aware of how the wind is,” Anderson said. “If they don’t have a smaller sail they probably need to stay in for their own safety.”

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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