Divers recover dozens of e-scooters from Portland’s Willamette River

PORTLAND. Ore. (KPTV) -- A small crowd gathered Tuesday along the seawall in Downtown Portland. They were curious as to what the Multnomah County Dive Team was up to on the Willamette River under the Hawthorne bridge.

“I just saw some boats,” Ryan Alexander said, "I was kinda curious, I’m kind of a curious person.”

The big questioned lingered for many, "what were they looking for?"

“I thought somebody jumped probably,” Alexander said.

It didn’t take long for onlookers to figure it out.

“Just happen to be walking here and see what is happening,” Myrna Sislen said.

“It’s funny to see them just bubble up from the surface,” Julian Pscheid said.

The divers were on a mission, their treasure, e-scooters thrown into the river. They brought up nearly a dozen Tuesday. By Wednesday, deputies said they had recovered 57 scooters and bikes from the river.

The scooter brands included Razor, Lime and Bird.

“Now they are on dry land, but they don’t look like they are going to be driving anytime soon,” Pscheid said.

The dive team found 15 scooters last month during a training exercise. Tuesday, they began a two-day expedition to recover them. Eleven of the scooters were recovered on Tuesday.

“Seeing this, I mean, I apologize for saying it but I think it is hilarious,” Sislen said.

“A little sad, I am a scooter rider myself, I own my scooter so I really appreciate what scooters add to the Portland transportation community and it sucks the someone is just throwing them into the water,” Pscheid said.

Love them or hate them, the sheriff’s office said the scooters don’t belong in the water. The concern is ecological damage the batteries could have on the environment.

“It kind of sucks to see them being abused like that,” Alexander said.

“It is always entertaining, you never know what you are going to discover running along the Portland waterfront,” Pscheid said.

The dive team is using this recovery as a training exercise. They said at the bottom of the river the visibility is so murky and dark that everything has to be found by touch.

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