Toppenish man dies after cliff jumping into Yakima River

rafters on yakima river
Rafters on the Yakima River near SR 821 (Courtesy of BLM)

YAKIMA, Wash. — A Toppenish man is presumed to have died by drowning after he jumped off a cliff and into the Yakima River.

Kittitas County deputies say Brian George, 53, went missing after jumping from the “smiley face” rock at the Yakima River Canyon along State Route 821 between Ellensburg and Selah on Monday afternoon.

Deputies say several people had been jumping off the cliff that day, and George was with two other people who had already jumped in right before him.

About 2 p.m., rescuers rushed to the scene with a swift water patrol boat and began searching for George. They ran into several rafting groups and said they were looking for a missing person.

One of the rafters encountered during their search found George in the river, called 911 and started performing CPR on him.

Deputies picked up George and took him to be treated by medics, but he did not survive.

The sheriff’s office offered its condolences to George’s family for this tragedy.