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River Rafters In Trouble Rescued By Monroe Firefighters
April 28, 2017
This report first appeared April 27 in the Breaking News column
MAP shows area along the Skykomish where river rafters were rescued. CLICK TO ENLARGE
(MONROE, WA.) -- Monroe firefighters rescued three river rafters Wednesday who got into trouble on the frigid Skykomish River.
Just after 5 pm, members of Fire District 7 were dispatched to effect a "technical water rescue" on the Skykomish just before it meets the Snohomish River, according to a fire district statement.
The Skykomish River eventually flows into the Snohomish River, which drains into Puget Sound near the city of Everett.
"Crews were advised that one individual had made it to shore while two additional individuals were still in the river with their raft taking on water." said Heather Chadwick, Public Information Officer for District 7.
Water rescue crews accessed the river via rescue boat and were able to make contact with the people in trouble.
All three made it safely onto the rescue boat. Crews brought the individuals to the boat launch where medic units were waiting to perform medical evaluations. All three individuals were slightly hypothermic but declined to be taken to a hospital.
Firefighters say each person was in their own inflatable raft in which two of the rafts were tethered together. The tethered rafts snagged on a tree and got stuck stranding the three -- two men and one woman, all in their 20’s.
All three individuals were wearing life jackets.
Cold, cold and more cold
This time of year the Skykomish is brutally cold and not much warmer than in January when it runs at about 33 degrees, according to the state Ecology Department.
If you fall into the Skykomish at this time of year you might want to have a will already made out and have your affairs in order as your life can be in immediate jeopardy even if you're wearing a life vest.
"Fire District 7 wants to remind citizens that the river is very cold this time of year and higher due to snow melt. Small inflatable rafts are also not recommended due to many dangers on the river and hidden below the water. Furthermore, everyone should wear a properly fitted life jacket when on the river," said Chadwick.