Oregon wilderness

North Umpqua river from Tioga Bridge.

Photo submitted by Bob McDaniel of Roseburg

A man drowned in the North Umpqua River Sunday afternoon after his raft overturned, according to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.

The man, Scott James Jarrell, 38, of Central Point, was declared deceased at the scene.

According to police, two adult males were floating the North Umpqua River when their raft overturned in the water. One of the rafters, later identified as Paul Eckel, 43, of Roseburg, was able to swim back toward the raft, but Jarrell could not.

The river then swept the two men into another set of rapids, which again overturned the raft. Eckel was again able to return to the raft, but was unable to located Jarrell in the water.

A passing motorist witnessed the incident and called 911 at approximately 2:43 p.m., while following the rafters in his vehicle, according to police. The caller reported to police that the rafters were in the water and in distress near milepost 32 on Highway 138, Idleyld Park. The motorist was able to follow Eckel and assist him in located Jarrell.

Eckel was eventually able to retrieve his partner and paddle to the riverbank where people attempted to revive him until first responders arrived.

Jarrell was later declared deceased.

Both rafters were equipped with helmets, life jackets and other safety equipment.

Reporter Ian Campbell can be reached at 541-957-4209 or ian@nrtoday.com. Or follow him on Twitter @MrCampbell17.

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Managing Editor

Ian Campbell is the managing editor for The News-Review, a former senior editor at the Emerald Media Group and a camping fanatic. Follow him on Twitter @MrCampbell17

(1) comment


They were wearing life jackets or did they just had them with them? Who floats the river this time of the year? Where they wearing wet suits to protect themselves from the cold water?

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