Press Release


Busy weekend for water rescue

Kittitas County, WA - 08/07/2017 - Members of the Kittitas County Sheriff's Water Rescue Team responded to 3 calls Friday and Saturday, assisted 18 people.

Friday August 4, 2017 at 1442 hours a marine incident was dispatched.  A party of six floaters from Newport Richey, FL were south of Umptanum Recreation site on individual rafting tubes.  Three of the six were not skilled swimmers.  Life jackets were being utilized by all parties.  Karen Dawkins-Palmer 47, Brian Palmer 44, Eusnice Dawkins 62, Nicholas Palmer, Brian Macke 32, and Kashina Dawkins-Macke 33.  Three were separated from the group and their tubes, two of which were stuck on island center of the Yakima River at the south end of Wymer Cut.  One female inhaled some water around smiley rock and requested to be evaluated by KVFR, who responded and transported one female to Yakima River Rentals.  Marine 3 located and retrieved the other 5 family members and transported them to Lmuma Recreation.   Yakima River Rentals transported the family to Rosa Recreation then back to Umptanum Recreation.  No loss of life and no injury.  

Saturday August 5th, shortly after noon, deputies responded to a report of a large group of women who had struck a log jam within a few minutes of launching at Ringer loop, 3 miles south of Ellensburg. Reports of head injury, missing floaters and some clinging to trees and brush. A rescue team using the Sheriff's jet boat located and assisted all 12 victims. None of the injuries were serious.

A couple hours later on Saturday, about 4:30 p.m. deputies  responded to a report of 3 people who had struck a log jam on the Yakima River, about 12 miles south of Ellensburg. Rescuers used a jet boat to locate and assist all three in the party. No injuries were reported.


Kittitas County, from the Cascades to the Columbia, and online at


Contact: Clayton Myers, Undersheriff