Kayakers rescued on Washougal River

Woman, two boys, teen girl became stuck on gravel bar

By Dave Kern, Columbian assistant metro editor

Published:

Updated: April 29, 2013, 2:26 PM

 

Firefighters Sunday afternoon rescued four kayakers who were stranded in the Washougal River at milepost 2, near Blair Road.

About 2:58, emergency dispatchers were alerted that a mom, two boys and a teen girl were on a gravel bar in the river. One of their four kayaks was swept away and two sets of oars were gone.

East County Fire & Rescue and Camas-Washougal Fire Department responded.

ECF&R Firefighter Kelby Kiedrowski said ropes were thrown to the four. They were able to make it about 30 feet to the shore and then were pulled up a 60-foot bank to the Washougal River Road. It took about 20 minutes.

“I got a lot of help from my partner (firefighter) Zach Allen,” Kiedrowski said. He noted all four were wearing life vests.

The water temperature was probably in the 40s, Kiedrowski said.

The lost kayak was discovered sunk about 100 yards downstream. Kiedrowski said he was uncertain when it would be retrieved.

The four were brought into an ECF&R fire engine to warm up.

“They were just really happy to be out of the cold. All were safe and no injuries,” Kiedrowski said.Names of the four were not released.

Kiedrowski said on sunny days, river users need to remember the water is “super cold.”