Marine Incident/Rescue-On 05/26/12 at 4:05 P.M. Douglas County Deputies were on marine patrol in the area of Lincoln Rock State Park. They observed a riderless jet ski floating near the north end of Turtle Rock Island. There was an empty life jacket floating nearby. As the Deputies neared to investigate, they saw a hand lifted up out of the water. They observed three persons huddled together floating approximately 50 yards from the Jet Ski. They appeared to be struggling to stay afloat and went underwater 2-3 times before the patrol boat came along side of them. The Deputies pulled all three from the water and onto the Sheriff’s Patrol Boat. All were conscious but extremely cold and shaking. They were transported to Lincoln Rock State Park where an ambulance met them. All three were treated for exposure and transported to Central Washington Hospital. Their condition is unknown at this time. The family, a mother, a father, and their 6 year old son, were from Tukwila, WA. They were unable to explain at the time how they had fallen off the jet ski or how their life jackets had come off. The vessel was a 2009 Yamaha personal watercraft.
Had the Deputies not been on patrol and spotted the family, this situation could have ended tragically. The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind citizens that conditions in the river can be treacherous. The water is cold and swift. Boaters need to be familiar with their vessels and take every precaution to ensure the safety of themselves and family members. Deputy Poppie and Deputy Schlaman are highly skilled marine officers, and I commend them for their efforts in saving this family.