Crews rescue man from Spokane River

SPOKANE, Wash. — Spokane fire crews rescued a man from the Spokane River Monday morning.

Fire Chief Brian Schaeffer said the man was found near Redbank Park. He was about 15 feet from shore and clinging to a tree in the water.

“The person that was clinging onto a tree about 15 feet from a shore here… just off the shore in Glover field,” Schaeffer said. “He was known to be unhoused and reportedly living along the a camp situation.”

With the raging river making the situation difficult, firefighters safely brought him to shore by giving him a personal flotation device and stretching a ladder and ropes out to him.

He was looked over by medics and had minor injuries. He was taken to the hospital and is expected to survive.

It is not clear how he ended up in the water. However, Schaeffer said the man was suffering from anxiety.

Schaeffer said the water in Spokane River is too dangerous to put rescuers on the water, especially at night.

“The river right now… it is extremely dangerous for humans to try to recreate in an area of the river especially Downtown Spokane where it gets wider,” Schaeffer said.

Schaeffer said to make sure to bring a PFD whistle, a high-pitched whistle used in water safety situations, for urgent help. You can purchase one of these whistles on the American Lifeguard Products website.

Most importantly, Schaeffer said he wants people to respect the power of moving water.

“Especially for someone that can be unexpectedly back turned to it can carry away very quickly,” Schaeffer said.