POWERS — A 25-year-old Coos Bay woman drowned in the Coquille River Tuesday while working on a riverbank restoration project.
Kristle Volin, program manager for the Coquille Watershed Association, was pronounced dead on arrival at Bay Area Hospital after being airlifted by a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter.
Coos County dispatch had received a report of a possible drowning north of the Gaylord Bridge on the South Fork of the Coquille River at 1:06 p.m.
First responders from Myrtle Point Fire and Ambulance and the Coos County Sheriff’s Office found Volin trapped underwater.
Volin’s boat had hit a tree, capsized and snagged her life vest. Rescuers had to deflate the boat to bring Volin to the surface.
At the time of the incident, Volin was working with Oregon Fish & Wildlife employee Jeff Jackson to identify river bank areas for potential restoration projects. Jackson was in a separate pontoon boat and was unhurt.
A Coos Bay native and Marshfield High School graduate, Volin joined the Coquille Watershed Association staff in 2010 after earning a bachelor’s degree from Oregon State University.
Her recent projects included securing the donation of 3,000 Douglas fir, hemlock and redwood seedlings to the Powers and Bandon high schools’ native species programs.