By: Mike Zacchino

A small plane has crashed into the Rogue River near Galice, Oregon, a few miles down river from the town of Merlin.

A call came in at 9:28 AM for an aircraft crash at Ennis Riffle Campground.

No injuries were reported from the crash. the aircraft, a 2002 Van RV4 single engine, was forced to land after engine failure. the pilot and passenger were able to get out and sit on the aircraft’s wing and wait for safety.

“In this rural environment there really nowhere else to put it down safely, so he chose what option he thought he had best,” says Sheriff Dave Daniel with Josephine County Sheriff’s Office.

Swiftwater Rescue Instructor Sami Hawkins with Sierra Rescue happened to be on the scene teaching a class of rafting instructors. Hawkins explained she did not see the crash take place but heard the pilot and passenger screaming for help.

“Luckily the team that I’m teaching pulled in right behind with rafts available, and we’re doing a Swiftwater rescue course right now so it was a good practical scenario right then and there,” says Hawkins.

Bringing everyone to safety Instructor Hawkins said it was a highlight to do a real-like rescue during a rescue training.

Sheriff Daniel made it known that the help from Josephine County Sheriff, the Bureau of Land Management, Rural Metro Fire, and Oregon Adventure River Specialist, the team who did the rescuing, all played an important role in the rescue.