A woman is in the hospital in critical condition following a water rescue near Mirabeau Park Sunday afternoon.
Officials say the woman was spotted and brought to shore by two kayakers who were passing by. She did not have a pulse when she was brought to shore, but two Spokane County Sheriff Deputies immediately began CPR. They were relieved by medics within minutes and eventually they were able to get a pulse. At that time the woman was transported to a local hospital where we are told she is in critical condition.
The woman's husband was also on the river with her, but was not injured. We are told neither was wearing a life jacket.
The incident remains under investigation. Deputies say the husband had been drinking, but were unsure about the woman.
Spokane Valley Fire Department Press Release:
A female in her early to mid-30's was rescued, unconscious and unresponsive, from the Spokane River at Mirabeau Park Sunday afternoon by two citizens who were boating on the River. Alerted to the life threatening event by Spokane Valley Police Department officers from shore, the two citizens were able to move the female to shore where Officer Stidam and Lieutenant Jim Speaks of the Spokane Valley Police Department initiated cardio-pulmonary resuscitation until the arrival of Spokane Valley Fire and AMR Ambulance personnel. The female was transported to Sacred Heart Medical Center from the scene with a pulse and in critical condition. No further victim information is available at this time and condition updates will be made by SHMC staff as appropriate. The initial 9-1-1 call for assistance was received at 2:10 p.m. and the 1st SVFD resources arrived at Mirabeau Park at 2:14 p.m. SVPD arrived at approximately 2:12 p.m.
This event was a multi-agency (Spokane Valley Police, Spokane Valley Fire, Spokane Fire and AMR Ambulance) effort to locate, rescue and provide medical treatment to the female rafter, with assistance by citizens. The initial call for assistance was made by an individual using the Centennial Trail who was approached by the female's husband pleading for him to call 9-1-1. Preliminary information indicates that the female and husband separated from their inner-tube and the female submerged and drifted downstream from approximately Evergreen Rd and the Spokane River. The husband was able to successfully exit the River. Responding SVPD officers were able to gain a visual sighting of the female drifting downstream at Mirabeau Park where civilians assisted in moving her to shore in a life threatening condition. After approximately 15 minutes of CPR and Advanced Life Support medical care, the female was transported from Mirabeau Park in critical condition.
Members of the Spokane Valley Fire Department's Swift Water Rescue Team deployed rescuers from the Sullivan Park boat launch when subsequent reports were received that another rafter may have been in distress and in need of rescue. After a search of the River between Sullivan Park and Mirabeau Park and interviews with witnesses, it was determined that the female was the only potential drowning victim. Spokane Fire Department Swift Water Team members were requested to assist in the search for a potential second victim and were canceled when updated information became available.
One engine company, one ladder truck, two water rescue units, and two battalion chief responded to this incident, with a total of 12 personnel on the initial request for assistance.
The rafters were not wearing appropriate flotation equipment while navigating the River, increasing their risk for potential drowning.
The Spokane Valley Fire Department strongly recommends all persons floating the river wear not only flotation devices, but helmets providing protection from potential head injuries. Additionally, all persons floating the River are encouraged to do so with experienced partners.