Water rescue team trains on the Yakima River - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Water rescue team trains on the Yakima River

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NEAR UNION GAP, Wash. -- The Yakima County Sheriff's Office and the Yakima Fire Department went boating Sunday, all designed for training.

Last year Yakima Fire went on 22 water rescue calls. The Yakima River is much more dangerous than some people think, four of those rescue calls became body recoveries.

The Yakima River is full of hidden debris, fallen logs, even nasty old barbed wire fence. The team's on a five day training session and Sunday they practiced navigating the debris filled river, learning to read the currents and find the channel.

"Each river is different, the Yakima River has a lot of hazards because it's got a lot of wood in it. It also gets a lot of use especially in the summer when we've got really high temps," said Scott Williams, instructor, Wave Trek Rescue.

Around ten people trained Sunday and on Monday they'll be joined by a crew from Ellensburg.
The team will also practice how to pick-up swimmers while maneuvering the boat.

The rescue team says even with life jackets certain portions of the river are not meant for swimming, the irrigation dams are particularly dangerous and full of debris.