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Portland Area Woman Drowns While Kayaking On Little White Salmon River

Yesterday, June 16th, at approximately 3:00 PM, the Skamania County Sheriff’s Office received a satellite phone call that an approximately 38 year old woman had her kayak overturn on the Little White Salmon River and CPR was in progress.

Jennifer Watson, 38 of Portland, Oregon was pronounced deceased approximately 3 hours later at the scene, approximately 12 miles east of Stevenson, WA in Skamania County. She was with a group of 10 kayakers and was reported to have never been on the Little White Salmon, but was an experienced kayaker. The high angle rescue team from Wind River Search and Rescue and the Clark County Technical Rescue Team were deployed to the area to facilitate the recovery of Watson in the rugged terrain and vertical cliff area of the river.

“The Little White Salmon River is a very technical river for white water enthusiasts”, said Undersheriff Dave Cox. “This is a very unfortunate incident and our condolences go out to Watson’s friends and family”.

“The Clark County Technical Rescue Team was instrumental in coordinating the response to this incident with Skamania County Sheriff’s Office Deputies, Skamania County EMS, and Wind River Search and Rescue. We appreciate the level of expertise all of these agencies bring to the table during an incident of this complexity”, Cox said.


Thank you for your assistance

Dave Cox
Skamania County Sheriff’s Office