Firefighters successfully perform water rescue, saving stuck rafter - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather

Firefighters successfully perform water rescue, saving stuck rafter

SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. - Fire crews performing a water rescue underneath the Barker Rd. Bridge were successful in pulling a woman to safety Sunday evening.  Rescue crews first received the report of someone stuck in the water just before 4:00 Sunday afternoon.

A woman in a inflatable raft became stuck on debris under the bridge and rescuers were able to get her out of the water at around 5:40.  The woman's raft had flipped onto its side leaving the woman to hang onto the debris and her raft with her legs submerged in the water.

Rescue crews were able to cut a hole into the bridge, which is undergoing construction, so a rescuer could be lowered down to the rafter.  The firefighter was able to get a harness around the woman and they were both pulled to safety by rescue crews.

The Spokane County Sheriff's Office says the river is extremely dangerous with fast moving waters creating a strong current.  The temperature of the water is also very low, around 40 to 45 degrees, so hypothermia can set in very quickly for those who are in the water.

The Sheriff's Office also says there are signs posted east of the bridge warning boaters not to be the water near the bridge because of debris from the construction.