[OSMB-News] News Release - Lane County and Marine Deputy Honored with Multiple Awards
Ashley.Massey at state.or.us
Tue Oct 23 15:40:07 PDT 2007
For Immediate Release Date: Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Lane County and Marine Deputy Honored with Multiple Awards
The Oregon State Marine Board honored law enforcement officers from
across the state, for their heroic actions at their annual post season
conference on October 17, in Bend.
>From Lane County's Sheriff's Office, Deputy Paul Vitus received the
Oregon State Marine Board's Law Enforcement Life Saving Award for his
professional and immediate intervention in a life threatening situation.
Deputy Vitus was also awarded the Marine Board's Boating Under the
Influence Award of Excellence for apprehending seven impaired boaters
and removing them from the waterways.
It was July 1, 2006 when Deputy Paul Vitus patrolled the Willamette
River near Hileman Landing. He approached a treacherous stretch of the
river, where strainers, snags and root wads pose a threat to river
traffic. The deputy then spotted a canoe, which was headed directly
toward the hazardous area.
The deputy maneuvered his vessel directly behind them, following at a
close distance and keeping a watchful eye on the canoe. With the first
snag upon them, the occupants paddled rapidly and steered narrowly
around it. Their momentum and the swift current, however, carried them
directly into the second snag. The canoe slammed against the snag,
ejecting the canoers.
Deputy Vitus shouted directions for them to swim toward the center of
the next strainer, which had higher limbs, for easier passage. The
victims swam into the strainer in the middle of the river, heeding the
instructions of Deputy Vitus while they fought the vicious current.
Meanwhile, Deputy Vitus steered his vessel downstream and ran his boat
on a gravel bar. The first two people safely made it through the
strainer and were rescued. The third and final victim, however, was
headed directly for another strainer.
Deputy Vitus tossed a throw bag which landed just past the victim. The
victim grabbed the bag and was reeled in toward the patrol boat.
Once all of the victims were safely aboard the vessel, Deputy Vitus
assessed the injuries and headed back downstream to recover any
salvageable property. They found the canoe wrapped in a root wad,
Had the deputy not been there to shout instructions and toss the throw
bag, the outcome would have most likely been tragic. Due to his prompt
and professional actions, Deputy Vitus saved the lives of three people
The Lane County Marine Patrol also received Program Administration
Award of Excellence which honors marine programs that submit their
reports and information to the Marine Board in a timely and accurate
manner, and keep the doors of communication open. This award is
dedicated to office staff, deputies, supervisors, command staff and the
Other awards presented during the conference included: Most Improved
Yearly Program to OSP -NW Region; Most Improved Seasonal Program to
Yamhill County; Program of the Year, OSP *NW Region; Program of the
Year *Seasonal to Benton County; Education Award to Klamath County;
Education Award *Seasonal Program, to Washington County; Officer of
the Year to Deputy Steve Dangler, Multnomah County; Seasonal Officer of
the Year to Deputy Jerry Roley, Washington County; Rookie of the Year,
Deputy Nathan Thompson, Clackamas County; Trooper of the Year to Senior
Trooper Marshall Maher, OSP Oakridge and Trooper Martin Maher, OSP
Cottage Grove; Tom Rice Instructor of the Year to Bernie Altishin, OSMB
Cadre; Special Instructor Award to Deputy Jim Drew, Clark County,
Washington; Manager of the Year to Lt. Pat Rowland, Jackson County;
Program Administration Award of Excellence to Clatsop and Lane Counties;
Volunteer of the Year to Bernie Altishin, OSMB Instructior Cadre and
Paul Cody, Deschutes County.
Media Note: Photos are available. Please contact Ashley Massey if you
would like a digital photo.
Ashley A. Massey
Public Affairs Specialist
Oregon State Marine Board
503-378-8587 ext. 82623
ashley.massey at state.or.us
"Go with the flow, and don't fight the current."
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