On April 12, 2016 a kayaker was rescued from the Tualatin River 1/2 mile downstream of Cook Park by TVFR and Clackamas rescue teams.  Those familiar with this stretch of the river know that this shallow location always has current.  At springtime flow levels, the kayaker was unable to paddle upstream.  She was wearing a PFD and used her cell phone to call 911 for help.  See story on KPTV Fox 12 News.

Here is how you can avoid dangerous and uncomfortable situations when you paddle on the Tualatin River.

  1.  Know your route.  Consult our paddler’s map and logjam report and paddle with someone who has been there before.
  2. Be aware of the conditions.  While much of the Tualatin River has little appreciable current in the summer, it will have significant current in the rainy season.
  3. Know your limits.  If you are new to paddling or have never paddled in moving water, it is always a good idea to get some instruction.  PCC, Alder Creek, Next Adventure, REI and NW Discoveries all offer instruction to improve your paddling skills and safety.
  4. Paddle with a group.  Tualatin Riverkeepers offers group paddle trips May through October.  So does Willamette Riverkeeper.  Paddling clubs, colleges and parks & recreation programs also offer group trips.
  5. Always wear a Personal Flotation Device and dress for the weather.

Check out these other safe paddling tips from the American Canoe Association.