Injured Swimmer Rescued from Washington Waterfall

Technical rescue effort removes patient trapped at the base of Washougal falls

 

 
 
 

| Wednesday, July 16, 2014


STEVENSON, Wash. (AP) — Sheriff's deputies and firefighters have rescued a man who was trapped in rushing water at the base of a southwestern Washington waterfall after his legs got caught in rocks.

The Skamania County sheriff's office said John Napierkowski, 19, was rescued Monday night in a pool near the bottom of Dougan Falls on the Washougal River.

Napierkowski had gone swimming with friends when his legs became trapped in big rocks at the bottom of the natural pool below the waterfall, Sheriff Dave Brown said Tuesday.

"The force of the water pushes you right into them," Brown said.

The sheriff's office received a call shortly after 8 p.m. that the Washougal man was trapped in chest-deep water in the popular swimming hole.

"The first thing we do is try to keep him above water," Brown said

Emergency crews tied ropes to the man, and also gave him a life jacket, Brown said. Then they gave him a harness and attached an additional rope.

"First responders then began pulling on the rope from upriver and were able to free Napierkowski," said a press release from the sheriff's office.

Napierkowski was taken to a hospital because he was trapped in the water for about an hour and was lethargic from the cold. Brown estimated the water temperature at 60 degrees or less.

"The water was putting a beat down on his body," Brown said.

The incident occurred about 30 miles east of the Portland, Oregon, area.

Napierkowski, who could not be immediately reached for comment, is not the first person to become trapped in the area below the falls. Four years ago, a 14-year-old boy from Wilsonville, Oregon, got his leg trapped between boulders in the river below Dougan Falls. The water in that case reached to the boy's nose before he was rescued.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Mobile Category: 
News


Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, water rescue, technical rescue, swift water, rope rescue

 
What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS





 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Progress

Follow in the footsteps of these inspirational leaders of EMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Four Killed in New Mexico Medical Plane Crash

Crash near fairgrounds claims patient and crew of three.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Texas Ambulance Involved in Crash

Odessa ambulance and car collide during response.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Las Vegas Fire, AMR Reach New Deal

Tentative agreement reached over ambulance calls.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Fire Damages Several Homes in California Earthquake

Four homes destroyed and others damaged after quake rattles Napa.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

New Mexico Air Ambulance Crash

NTSB investigates crash that killed four.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Where in the World of EMS is A.J.? Scranton

JEMS Editor-in-Chief visits his hometown of Scranton, Pa.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Over 100 Injured in California Earthquake

172 patients treated at Napa hospital after 6.0-magnitude earthquake.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >