Kittitas County marine patrol rescues boaters stranded on Columbia River

Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol
Image credit: Kittitas County Sheriff, Facebook

KITTITAS COUNTY, Wash. — Three people were stranded on the Columbia River after their boat was overwhelmed by rising winds and waves on Tuesday evening. Luckily, one of them was able to place a 9-1-1 call using their cell phone while floating in the water.

According to their press release, the Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol responded to the Columbia River at 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 29, 2021. Deputies launched from Wanapum State Park just under 40 minutes later to begin their search.

Shortly after, deputies were able to locate two men and a 16-year-old boy float in the middle of the river. authorities say that the river is over a  mile and a half wide in the area where the trio was stranded. The three individuals from Selah, Toppenish, and Yakima were taken back to the boat launch safely. None of them sustained any injuries in the accident.

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The trio told Kittitas County deputies that high winds and waves overwhelmed their 10-foot pleasure craft. In harsh conditions, the region was unable to bail quickly. Their vessel took on lots of water, eventually sinking into the river. All three of the individuals wore Personal Flotation Devices (PFD’s), allowing them to stay above water and call for help.

The Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office is using this incident as an example and an opportunity to remind water recreationists to be careful. They offered the four following bullet points of emphasis:

  • Use the equipment appropriate to your activity and body of water, including PFD’s.
  • Know your limits and stay within them.
  • Recognize the danger of cold water, even when it’s hot outside.
  • Boat sober!

Kittitas County Marine deputies will be patrolling the water to enforce boating laws during the Fourth of July weekend and throughout the summer.

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