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A teenager from Moses Lake lost his life in a drowning accident in the Cle Elum River Saturday.

According to the Kittitas County Sheriff's Office, the 17-year-old victim was part of a group of seven youngsters from Moses Lake and Warden who embarked on a river adventure near the Salmon La Sac campground. The ill-fated outing took a tragic turn when the teen, riding an inner tube connected to his friends' tubes, encountered a series of challenges. The makeshift raft of inner tubes became entangled in tree limbs and submerged debris, causing it to capsize in the swift-moving river. The group became scattered, and one teenager sustained an ankle injury during the ordeal. It was during the group's subsequent gathering that they realized one member was missing.

Distressed, they contacted authorities for assistance around 12:30 p.m. The Sheriff's Office dispatched a specialized swiftwater rescue team. After a two-hour search, the team discovered the lifeless body of the young man trapped beneath a submerged log. Despite wearing a life jacket, he had succumbed to the force of the river.

In light of this incident, Sheriff's officials are urging the public to exercise caution and avoid waterways due to the unusually high water flow for this time of year.

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