An adult male and four boys were rescued from the Rogue River Sunday afternoon near Dodge Bridge when their boat filled up with water and became stranded on rocks.
"It was a scary adventure for those involved," said Jackson County Fire District No. 5 Battalion Chief Rod Edwards. "They were all recovered safe and brought back on shore."
The call came in at 12:30 p.m., and it took about two hours for the rescue operation between Eagle Point and Shady Cove.
Edwards said the fiberglass boat wasn't adequate for the number of passengers and the swiftly moving water.
"They elected to go for a float and weren't particularly well-equipped," he said. "They did have life jackets on, and they were wearing hats and jackets. "They avoided complete immersion by standing in water up to their knees."
Edward said that after the boat started taking on water it got caught up on some rocks in the middle of the river, which prevented it from sinking.
The passengers in the boat began yelling, and the adult male was able to use his cellphone to call for help, Edwards said. The current was running too swiftly for the passenger to try to swim toward the banks, which were 25 to 30 feet away, he said.
An ambulance was on scene, but no injuries were reported, Edwards said.
"They were all fine," he said. "Mom showed up with some dry clothes."
Edwards said he didn't have the names of the victims and wasn't sure if they were all related. He said he thought the boys ranged in age from 11 to 14.
Officials with the Jackson County Sheriff's Department were unavailable for comment Sunday afternoon.
Edwards said the Rogue River can be particularly dangerous this time of year with strong currents and without the proper boat.
"It can be a very dangerous and deadly place for some to go to, especially if you're not prepared," he said.
Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.