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Roseburg Police Officers Save Drowning Woman From the South Umpqua River

9:08 PM · Sep 29, 2021

Roseburg Police officers rescued a drowning woman from the South Umpqua River early Wednesday morning. Police were called to the bank of the river near Stewart Parkway bridge by a Roseburg man, identified as James Smith, who alerted Douglas County Emergency Communications at 3:56 a.m. Wednesday that his female friend got in trouble as the pair tried to swim in the river. The man got out of the water and called 9-1-1 to help Brittany Rose Shepherd, 24, of Roseburg. The man told emergency dispatchers Shepherd was struggling to tread water and unable to make it back to shore, and he was unable to help her. Roseburg Police officers, along with Roseburg Fire Department fire personnel, responded to the report of a female in distress in the South Umpqua River near Stewart Park. Roseburg Police Sergeant Jeff Eichenbusch, Officer Dawson Batsch and Officer Brandon Halter arrived on scene and found the woman was out near the middle of the river treading water -- gasping, exhausted and unable to get back to shore. Without hesitation, Officers Batsch and Halter quickly removed their duty gear – guns, radios, badges, belts, vests, etc. -- and jumped into the river to rescue her. As they got into the river, Shepherd was going under water. Without their quick actions, she likely would have drowned, according to Sergeant Eichenbusch. Officer Batsch, who served previously as a lifeguard, swam quickly out to Shepherd and used his lifeguard training and experience to grab her and swim her back to shore. Shepherd was treated at the scene by medical personnel and transported by ambulance to Mercy Medical Center for further treatment. She was expected to be treated and released. Alcohol was believed to be a factor in the incident. Via Roseburg Police

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