The Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Marine Enforcement Unit, Emergency Operations Dive Team, and Search and Rescue Team members continued the search Sunday for a swimmer who slipped below the surface of the swift-moving and cold water of the Spokane River on Saturday afternoon. Despite the efforts of multiple agencies and the vast resources utilized this weekend, the swimmer was not located.
The Spokane River is running high and fast due to spring runoff (18,000 cubic feet per second) with a water temperature of approximately 59 degrees. Even a strong and experienced swimmer can become incapacitated in a very short time. We encourage swimmers to stay out of the Spokane River due to these dangerous conditions. If you should decide to enter the river, please wear a United States Coast Guard Approved Life Jacket.
On June 11, 2022, at approximately 4:40 pm., Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputies, Spokane Valley Deputies, and Spokane Valley Fire Department crews responded to the report of a possible drowning in the Spokane River near Boulder Beach.
Callers reported a 20-year-old male was in the river, appeared to be having difficulties, and was being swept down the river by the strong current. Deputies and fire personnel arrived at the location and quickly requested additional resources to assist in the search and rescue operation, but unfortunately, he was not located. (Spokane Valley and Spokane City Fire Water Rescue Teams, Spokane County Sheriff Marine Enforcement Unit (side/down scan sonar) and Dive Team, Spokane Regional Air Unit-Air 1 and Unmanned Aerial Systems)
On June 12, 2022, Spokane County Sheriff’s Office Marine Enforcement and Drive Team personnel, assisted by Search and Rescue Human Detection K9 Teams, returned to continue the search, despite the dangers posed by the high flow and large amount of floating and submerged debris. After the conclusion of the day’s search, the male was not located.
This remains an open and active investigation. Anyone with information regarding this incident, who Investigators have not contacted, is asked to call Crime Check at 509-456-2233, reference #10072995.
Please use caution in and around the Spokane River and other waterways, especially this time of year with the extremely cold-water temperatures and the strong, unpredictable currents in our rivers. Wear a United States Coast Guard Approved Life Jacket.