13-year-old boy rescued at Wallace Falls (video)

The video above was produced by a Snohomish County search and rescue volunteer. The first minute of the video details the location of the rescue with still photos. Video footage of the rescue begins at 1:10.

GOLD BAR — Swept down one waterfall and about to plunge over a much larger one, a 13-year-old boy managed to climb onto a 1-foot-wide rock in a gushing river — and then stayed there for eight and a half hours until rescuers finally saved him early Sunday morning, sheriff’s officials said.

The teen was out hiking with his father and his father’s friend at about 5 p.m. Saturday, when he began wading in the river above Wallace Falls, at a popular state park near Gold Bar. The top of the falls is a steep, nearly 3-mile hike from the trailhead.

The boy slipped on some rocks, and the water carried him down a 10-foot waterfall. Just before he would have fallen over the 270-foot main attraction, he scrambled to the rock, five yards from shore.

“He was on that one rock for all those hours,” Snohomish County Sheriff’s Lt. Suzy Johnson said. “He’s a pretty lucky kid.”

Rescuers first tried to reach him by helicopter, but a rock overhang prevented them from getting a clear shot at reaching him. The first rescuer lowered down and tried to swing to the boy, but the friction from the rock ledge cut the rope, and the rescuer plunged into the river. His secondary rope kept him from going over the falls, and he made it to the river bank with only minor injuries.

Others hiked up to the scene to find the boy standing on the rock, wet and hypothermic. They threw him dry clothes and food and set up a rigging that would allow them to rescue him.

They finally got him off the rock at about 1:30 a.m. Sunday. The 10 rescuers camped with him overnight, and they were flown out by helicopter at 6 a.m.

The name of the boy, who is from the south Seattle suburb of Burien, was not immediately released. He did not require immediate medical attention but was going to be checked by a doctor later Sunday.

None of the rescuers was immediately available for an interview. The sheriff’s lieutenant said they’d been sent home for some well-deserved rest.

More in Local News

Families begin relocating from public housing complex

Baker Heights is in need of repairs deemed to costly to make, and will be demolished and replaced.

Trail work by juvenile offenders builds resumes, confidence

Kayak Point trails were built out this year by groups from Denney Juvenile Justice Center.

Distress beacon leads rescuers to Pacific Crest Trail hikers

Two men in their 20s had encountered snow and waited two nights for a helicopter rescue.

Rules of the road for ‘extra-fast pedestrians’ — skateboarders

State traffic law defines them as pedestrians, and yet they are often in the middle of the street.

Volunteers clean up homeless camp infested with garbage

The organization’s founder used to live and do drugs in the same woods.

Everett mayoral campaign is one of the priciest ever

Many campaign donors are giving to both Cassie Franklin and Judy Tuohy.

City of Everett to give $400K to a nonprofit housing project

The city expects to enter a contract with HopeWorks, an affiliate of Housing Hope.

The way he walked led to police to Everett murder suspect

Then, witnesses said they had heard the man and an alleged accomplice talking about a robbery.

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s best images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

Most Read