Busy weekend for water rescues; 2 missing canoeists safe

GOLD BAR — Rescue divers and other emergency responders converged on the Skykomish River east of Gold Bar on Monday when two men reportedly were swept away by the current after their canoe capsized.

They were found hours later, apparently unharmed.

“They self-rescued downstream and walked to a nearby residence. Neither is injured,” said Shari Ireton, a spokeswoman with the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office.

The search focused on the stretch of river downstream of Big Eddy, a popular spot for accessing the river. Fears were heightened because the men reportedly were not wearing life jackets.

It was a busy Memorial Day weekend for rescuers, who plucked at least five people to safety.

Early Saturday, a helicopter operated by the sheriff’s office lifted out a 12-year-old boy who had spent several hours stranded on rocks along the South Fork Stillaguamish River. The boy, who is from Tulalip, was not injured, according to the sheriff’s office.

A float trip down the Stillaguamish River turned dangerous Sunday for four people: a 25-year-old Marysville woman, a 17-year-old Tacoma girl, and a 22-year-old woman and 23-year-old man, both from Everett.

The group was drifting down the river west of Arlington when one of their floats popped, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office.

The four reached the river bank but found themselves stranded at the bottom of a steep hillside covered in brush, according to the release.

Sheriff’s deputies, two firefighters and members of Snohomish County Volunteer Search and Rescue responded to a call for help from the group. The rescuers helped the group to safety. The 22-year-old woman from Everett was taken to Providence Regional Medical Center with minor injuries, the release states.

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