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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 17, 2012 8:23 AM. The previous post in this blog was Gangsta shoot-em-up at 82nd and Fremont. The next post in this blog is Steve Duin names Portland cops in mistreatment of mentally ill. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Monday, September 17, 2012

Hagg Lake story seems a little pat

We've been reading with interest this story of a rescue of eight drowning children by bystanders at Hagg Lake over the weekend. There's something about the story that doesn't quite hang together for us. Eight children, ages 3 to 13, all drowning at once? None of them could even dog-paddle back to shore, in a lake? Their parents couldn't swim, either? They were in way over the heads, yet some were stuck in the mud at the bottom of the lake at the same time?

It's wonderful that the rescuers did what they did, whatever it was. But why are the parents walking away from this without so much as even being identified? And if the lake is that dangerous, why are children allowed to swim in it to begin with?

Comments (20)

What was lame was that there were life jackets onsite for use. Not wanting to cast blame here, but why is it ever okay for kids to play in a lake without either being swimmers or having life vests? Drop-offs and under-currents are common; a fair degree of irresponsibility occurred here on part of adults and accountability should be taken.

I am part of an emergency services team that responds to situations like the one at Hagg Lake when the outcome is not as good. What we often find is that the victims are part of a family who is new to this country and either do not speak or read English. Consequently, signs posted to warn them about dangers in the water are not effective. These folks don't know how dangerous the waters in the Pacific Northwest can be due to steep drop offs and effects of ice cold water. (E.G. The Columbia River at Kelly Point or Rooster Rock) It would be good if there were outreach programs to such groups that educate them on these dangers.

",one child get into trouble in the deep water,,kids rushing to the rescue didn't know there was a sudden drop off. They also quickly found themselves struggling in the water."

I've seen this kind of incident a number of times over the years and saved my younger brother from the identical scenario in a drop off at Richardson's Grove Sate Park in Ca.

Its better than London the leg-less dog story that has been leading in the Feel Good News reports for over a month now.

Anything to detract from the Moslem uprising and talk of $10. gas.

You asked some good questions, Jack. And I doubt you'll get any straight answer from any authority. Would you be willing to hear my groundless speculation?

Having been to Hagg Lake on several occasions, MY SPECULATION is this was a family of illegal aliens I MEAN UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS from the Cornelius area. Clues: 1. Effort by the "O" NOT to mention any identifying descriptions 2. Large group of unsupervised children 3. Proximity to Hillsboro and Forest Grove 4.Your observation of, "why are the parents walking away...".

Now that I've offered my SPECULATION, please feel free to accuse me of being racist. But before you do, be prepared to answer WHY the parents DID NOT go in front of the TV cameras praising the rescuers?

Oh, I nearly forgot #5. Who else except illegal aliens could sent eight kids to a hospital emergency room at the same time?

Good swimmers drown all the time in Hagg Lake. It's sure as hell no place for people who can't swim at all.

Regarding newcomers perhaps not understanding:

At Hagg Lake, there are prominent displays of available life-jackets, as well as signage in English and Spanish with warnings and explanations.

Yes, a tragedy averted, but interesting reporting that avoided any identities of the children or the attending adults who were/were not supervising them.

Kudos to the bystanders who helped save these children. A comment on the news last night by the rescuers: "why didn't more people who were there help us?".

Mike. one of many.
I have also learned that many among the newcomers cannot read in their native language. So the signs in Spanish may not be much help. That's why many fire departments do their smoke alarm materials with pictures...like the airlines do for the flight safety cards.

I wish heartless people like ltjd would deport themselves.

However you feel about people without proper documentation to be in this country, it's not wrong to ask questions about the clueless parents who allowed this incident to occur. And if the media wants to run this kind of feel-good story, it needs to ask and answer the most obvious questions.

How is ltjd heartless, Sal? Is it heartless to observe humans and then generalize based on your observations? Did he say that he was *glad* they were harmed or that he took delight in their misfortune?

Just because someone doesn't think illegal immigrants should be in the U.S., it doesn't make them heartless. Sheesh.

I'm for amnesty for all aliens currently in our country - but only because there's no other solution. And if amnesty was granted, I'd sure as spit want to lock the borders tight from that point on. It's not because I'm heartless, but because I am logical.

Oregon Oak:

I failed to mention it, but there are pictograph illustrations, too.

I agree, reading is a deficiency not only of newcomers, but many of the residents who have been here a long time.

I know several college-educated immigrants who know very little about water safety, and the dangers that lurk beneath the water surface. Smart people can drown just as easily as the unknowing.

There are many dangers that locals may experience in other lands if uninformed: like finding a scorpion in ones' bed or shoes, as one friend experienced a few months ago on a business trip to the desert southwest.

Having been to Hagg Lake on several occasions, MY SPECULATION is this was a family of illegal aliens I MEAN UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS from the Cornelius area.

Must be amazing to have such keen powers of observation that you can detect a person's immigration status by merely looking at them!

you can detect a person's immigration status by merely looking at them

It's even easier if you don't look, but just infer from the circumstances.

Sal would like to see ME deported? That's about what I'd expect from the "tolerant" crowd.

Perhaps Sal & Dave have a different explanation why the UNNAMED ADULT CARETAKERS at the lake did not attend the ceremony at the Gaston Fire Department recognizing the Gibson family for saving the lives of THE UNNAMED children (possibly the children of the unnamed adults present at the lake). Anyone else have an explanation of why the press goes to such great lengths to avoid describing this "family"? Oh and Dave: The only photos are of the rescuers, not the children or supervising adults. I wonder why?

http://www.katu.com/news/local/Lake-Rescue-I-think-there-were-angels-there-yesterday-169976266.html

How about it, Dave & Sal? What's YOUR guess on why the dog didn't bark?

One of the early news accounts mentioned some sort of "communication problem" with the parents of the children. So I suspect that means they were not English speakers.

You know, to play Nyarlathotep's advocate, had anyone considered that this family was a gaggle of vacationers that didn't have time to stand around and wait for the news crews? Jack, you're absolutely right about how someone should be asking more questions. I just also know, from my own personal experiences as a kid, that after something like this, the last thing a family wants to do is stick around for a game of "Look At The Dumbass". This invariably happens when people who weren't anywhere near the situation make assessments based on inadequate data, and cluck "Bet they couldn't read."

Now, that said, figuring that these were kids involved, that brings up a very valid point on its own. I mean, I was already unlucky enough to be reading at a college level by the time I was six, but those signs presume that (a) the kids in question could read them and (b) that they were going to read them anyway. I remember all too well what I was like when I was six when it came to any swimming area, and anybody in my way got a kid-sized hole punched through them. I'm a lot more careful these days, but that's after a lot of very close shaves with undertows and dropoffs, and I'm still missing the side of my left big toe from where I clipped a chunk of broken glass that was hidden in the sand on the bottom.

(When I say that I'm familiar with families that don't stick around after something like this, I meant it when I said I had experience. I learned how to swim in a lake in northern Michigan that had a lot of out-of-state tourists swimming in "At your own risk" swimming areas, and an uncle practically lived on that lake when he was a teenager. Every year, he had at least two or three stories of kids who went out too far or did something stupid with an air mattress, and he had to rescue them. Every last time, the kids hadn't bothered to read warnings or didn't listen to parents who tried to warn them. In every last case, too, my uncle was disgusted by the parents who just grabbed their kids after the rescue and took off, not understanding until years later that the parents were just too horrified to say anything and too embarrassed to file any kind of formal report.)

Also, very high kudos to the Gibson family for acting as quickly as they did, because the assessment was absolutely right: by the time rescue crews got there, everyone would have been dead. People whose sole previous experience with swimming was in pools with lifeguards have no idea how rapidly they'll get exhausted when chilled, and everyone should be very thankful that the Gibsons were attentive enough to act immediately. I'd buy them all dinner if I could.

If there was a language barrier, maybe they were Russians? I was just glad to read about how the little kids were saved from a tragic death at a very young age.

I'd sure as spit want to lock the borders tight from that point on. It's not because I'm heartless, but because I am logical.
That won't solve the problem. What're you going to do in the future with the 50% of the illegal aliens who come here legally, but then don't leave? Until you answer that question, amnesty just increases the problem. Your logic is faulty.


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