UPDATE: Vancouver man dies in boating accident on Swift Reservoir
Originally published August 17, 2012 at 10:36 a.m., updated August 17, 2012 at 9:35 p.m.
A Vancouver man drowned after falling out of a boat in Swift Reservoir on Wednesday, officials said Friday.
Grant Kelly, 49, was pronounced dead at the Swift Forest Camp boat ramp Wednesday afternoon when attempts to revive him were unsuccessful, according to a Skamania County Sheriff’s Office news release.
The incident was reported to emergency responders around 3:10 p.m., said Skamania Undersheriff Dave Cox.
Kelly and his brother, Vincent Kelly, spent the day fishing, according to the release. The two fell out of a 14-foot boat when it made a sharp turn. The two were not wearing life vests but had some on the boat, the sheriff's office said.
Two couples on nearby boats rushed to the brothers’ aid.
Kathy and Jim Watkins and Kathy and Joe Darling were about half a mile away when the two fell out of the boat and it started going in circles. When they got close, they found two men in the water. One had his head above water; the other was facedown, Kathy Watkins said. Her husband jumped in the water to grab Grant Kelly, the man who was facedown, while she threw a life preserver to Vincent Kelly.
The group attempted to get Grant into the boat but couldn’t because he was too big, Kathy Watkins said. They attempted to perform CPR on him in the water while they waited for emergency officials to respond.
EMTs arrived about an hour later in a fishing boat and took Grant Kelly to shore, Jim said.
Vincent Kelly, also from Vancouver, was taken to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center. He was treated and released, Cox said.
Jim Watkins said the event shows the importance of wearing a life preserver anytime you’re in a small boat, especially if you’re not a good swimmer.
“If they’d had life jackets on, they’d be laughing about it today,” Kathy Watkins said.
The sheriff’s office is investigating.