Group of rafters rescued from Spokane River

Group of rafters rescued from Spokane River

Rescue crews were busy on Saturday as they conducted multiple water rescues on the Spokane River.

A group of five friends decided to float down the Spokane River on Saturday afternoon, but their fun summer outing took a quick turn for the worse.

Kody Turner and his friends just wanted to enjoy the beautiful Spokane weather.

“We were just trying to have some fun on the river today,” he said. “It was going to be a little bit warm in the eighties I think, and we just wanted to go floating down the river like any other day.”

But soon after they started rafting down the river in the Peaceful Valley neighborhood, their floats got wrapped around a tree. Kody’s raft became detached from the group, and he kept going downstream.

“I got pulled down under, went down another half mile, mile down the river, had to swim to the shore, and they were lucky enough just to get stuck in the tree and not have to worry about floating down river,” he explained.

By the time he got to shore and back to his friends, rescue crews were already there.

Kody watched as the crews quickly helped his friends put on life jackets, and one by one they were taken ashore on the rescue kayaks.

“No one was hurt, everyone was safe, so it wasn’t that big of a deal,” explained Colby Wayenberg, the first person to get safely to shore. “We just had to wait for someone to come, hang out, and get us.”

Colby was the first to make it safely to shore, after being stuck in the tree for about a half hour.

He was thankful for the quick response of the rescue crews.

“They kept calm and walked us through the whole process really easily, and knew exactly what to do and take care of it, so we were good,” he said.

Kody and Colby said they’ve learned some lessons in the process.

“[I’ll] probably wait until the river dies down a little bit to do this again,” Colby said. “I did it last August and it wasn’t anywhere close to this bad. Thought I could do it again, but I guess I have to wait a couple more months.”

“Definitely wear your life vests,” Kody said.

Everyone in the group made it out of the water safely with the help of water rescue crews.