Yakima Fire Department (YFD) crews responded at about 3:00 pm today to a report of a man stranded on a log in the Yakima River. The 32-year-old man was reportedly hanging onto a log in an area of the river north of Terrace Heights Way and south of a train trestle upriver.
A joint-agency Technical Rescue Team (TRT) was called in after the crews that first responded had located the man. A raft was launched with TRT swimmers aboard. The swimmers were able to get the man aboard the raft and safely to shore in a short period of time.
“The victim was calm and stable when swimmers arrived,” said YFD Shift Commander Mitch Cole. “The swimmers were able to move methodically but efficiently and perform the rescue flawlessly.”
The man who was rescued by the swimmers was evaluated by paramedics once he was on shore. He refused to be taken to a hospital for further evaluation. The man and a friend had apparently gone swimming in the river at about 11:00 am today. After the man became stranded on the log, his friend tried to help him for several hours before calling first responders.
The joint-agency TRT that responded to the incident included 10 YFD staff, 3 personnel from the Yakima Training Center Fire Department, and 2 Yakima County Sheriff’s deputies.