First responders pull man from Spokane River, victim in critical condition

First responders pull man from Spokane River, victim in critical condition

A man is in critical condition after first responders pulled him out of the Spokane River Sunday afternoon.

Spokane Fire battalion chief Dave Haworth said a couple was walking along Upriver Drive near Havana Street when they noticed someone struggling in the water at about 1 p.m.

The woman then called 9-1-1 while her husband jumped into the river to try and save the man. Haworth said city and valley water crews, AMR, the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office dive team and the Spokane Fire Department responded.

First responders pulled the man from the river around 1:45 p.m. Haworth told KXLY4 they gave him advanced life support on the river bank before he was driven away in an ambulance. Haworth said the victim was found in the same area where witnesses saw him struggling.

“With these kind of river flows this time of year, typically if someone goes under, they’ll stay right in that area, they’ll go right to the bottom,” Haworth said. “It’s important if you do see someone go under and you call us, that you say right where you saw them go under and let us know, because that’s exactly where he was.”

Haworth estimated the man, in his 30’s, was under water for about 30 minutes before he was rescued. He said the victim was not wearing a life jacket.

“Even just swimming on the shore, there’s lots of places where you can get your foot caught on a rock, there’s lots of underwater holes where you could step into a deeper hole and you think you’re in shallow water and go under and if you don’t have a [personal flotation device] on, then it can pull you down really quickly,” Haworth said.

Haworth said when crews arrived on scene, they did not see anyone else with the victim besides the witnesses.

This is a developing story.