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As the weather warms up, rivers and lakes remain dangerously cold

The heat is on, but area rivers and lakes remain perilously cold.Public safety officials urge boaters and swimmers to use caution - and to wear a life jacket. (SBG Photo)

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - The heat is on, but area rivers and lakes remain perilously cold.

Public safety officials urge boaters and swimmers to use caution - and to wear a life jacket.


Life Jacket Lending Program

McKenzie Fire & Rescue and the McKenzie River Guides Association support the Life Jacket Lending Program with a goal of keeping everyone safe around recreational water.

USCG Approved Type II or III Life jackets in all sizes are available for the day at the following locations:

  • Mather's Market | 38477 McKenzie Hwy, Springfield | 541-726-8570
  • Walterville Market | 39317 McKenzie Hwy, Walterville | 541-746-1875
  • McKenzie Feed & Tackle | 39355 McKenzie Hwy, Walterville | 541-741-0191
  • Leaburg Country Store | 42840 McKenzie Hwy, Leaburg | 541-896-0500
  • Vida Community Market | 45602 McKenzie Hwy, Vida | 541-896-3261
  • Wayfarer Resort | 46725 Goodpasture Road | 541-896-3613
  • Eagle Rock Lodge | 49198 McKenzie Hwy, Nimrod | 541-822-3630
  • Meyer's General Store | 51748 Blue River Dr, Blue River | 541-822-3531
  • Blue Sky Market | 91808 Mill Creek Road, Blue River | 541-822-3575

All jackets are collected, cleaned, sanitized, fabric protected and stored each fall.

The life jackets are lent on an honor system. Organizers ask you to please return them when you are finished on the river so others can use them too.

6th Annual Life Jacket Exchange

The public can bring outgrown or unused life jackets to Cabela's in Springfield on June 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. or June 19 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and exchange it for a properly fitting child's life jacket.

Life jacket donations can also be made at the event or at the Lane County Sheriff's Office, 125 E. 8th Avenue.

The program is run by the sheriff's search and rescue program and the Eugene Emerald Valley Rotary Club.

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