▶️ Bystander, kayaker save man from drowning in the Deschutes River


Jeff Bollers was walking down a path near the Old Mill Friday afternoon when he heard a cry for help in the river.

“People don’t usually yell out for help unless they mean it,” Bollers said.

The desperate plea came from a man who fell off his tube in the Deschutes River and began to drown.

“Didn’t look like he could touch the bottom or swim very well,” Bollers said. “We just saw him struggling and he thankfully yelled out for help a couple times before he went under.”

The Bend resident put his walk on pause and jumped in the river, fully clothed, to save the man.

“He was coming from that direction and we were headed back this way,” Bollers said. “I think he just got separated from his friends.”

Bollers was not the only good samaritan who came to the rescue.

“I got in the water to try and get him back to his inner tube,” Bollers said. “Thankfully an alert kayaker came by and got to him, and was able to help him get back to the shore.”

Bollers says he could tell the area where it all happened was deep.

“I couldn’t touch the bottom and I’m like six feet tall,” Bollers said. “It doesn’t take long to get deep right here.”

Bollers says the man seemed shocked getting out of the water, but he was okay.

“If you’re in a position to help somebody out,” Bollers said. “Do it.”


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