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Hiker Rescued After Being Swept Over A Waterfall

Monday, 23 March 2020

On Saturday, March 23rd, 2020, at approximately 5:41 pm The Skamania County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a hiker that had fallen and gone over Spirit Falls, on the little White Salmon River, near Cook, Washington. The report was the hiker has self-extricated to the bank and was currently behind the water fall unable to safely get out due to the hydraulics of the falls and steep cliff face.

 The hiker, Rachel E. Goodwin, 23, Washougal, WA, was near Spirit Falls, when she fell and was swept over. Her hiking partners called the Sheriff’s Office requesting assistance. A search & rescue Deputy responded along with Skamania County EMS, and the Skamania County Search & Rescue Team. Goodwin was located behind the falls and appeared uninjured, although after being in the frigid waters, was very susceptible to hypothermia. Additional manpower and rescue were requested. The Clark County Technical Rescue Team was then dispatched and with their assistance, Goodwin was raised to the top of the falls. She was then transported to Peace Health Salmon Creek for treatment of mild hypothermia.

This call, and several others within the Gifford Pinchot National Forest and Columbia Gorge National Scenic area leads us to believe the requests for social distancing was only in effect for the Portland Metropolitan area. The unusually warm weather normally brings large crowds to enjoy the scenic beauty offered in the Columbia River Gorge, however we urge visitors to use caution and common sense. Skamania County Government and its residents are taking the COVID-19 pandemic seriously, making the necessary changes to our everyday lives so we can remain health and happy, we strongly suggest visitors to our community do as well.