The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Andrew Christiansen

Four hours to safety: Search and Rescue’s Klickitat River rescue

Injured girl lifted 100 feet up cliff side


Andrew Christiansen

TOUGH RESCUE: Members of the Klickitat County Search and Rescue team, the Klickitat County Sheriff’s Department, and Lyle Fire and Rescue slowly work their way back up the cliff with the help of team members at the other end of the ropes that were secured to trees near the top of the cliff.

Tuesday was a bad day for fishing on the Klickitat River. Recent thunderstorms and snow melt had the river lapping at its banks with a roiling mix of chocolate brown water. It seemed like the place to be for a group of four teenage girls and a 10-year-old boy who were having a blast on the river—until they floated just a little too far.

Alan Cootes was fishing just below Lyle Falls, about half way between the tribal fish counting facility and the Fisher Hill Bridge. He had finally caught his first fish of the day, early in the afternoon when he heard something out of the norm. “Did you hear that?” Alan asked of his wife Delphina. They listened closer and heard screams just as Alan s...

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Reader Comments

michaelswellman writes:

I am so pleased these young people survived. 18 years ago my 18 year old son Nathan Wellman drowned in this same stretch. There is a warning sign above the dangerous area, but I am not sure it is in good condition. It needs to be made more apparent to these young people just how short their lives may be if they enter this part of the river. Let's get more and better signage.


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