Yakima River Water Rescue saves man stuck on a dam - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima River Water Rescue saves man stuck on a dam

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WAPATO, WA- An irrigation worker is to thank after a man drifted down the Yakima River and was found holding onto a pipe for several hours.

Rescuers found 25-year-old Izacc Tuinei calling for help Monday morning near the diversion dam in Wapato. He had been swimming earlier near a boat launch upstream.

Water rescue lowered a lifejacket down to the man and used an inflatable raft to rescue him. Tuinei is expected to be okay.

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WAPATO, WA - A Wapato man is now recovering after a swim in the Yakima River turned dangerous, leaving him stuck on a dam for several hours.

Sheriffs told reporter Gilbert Magallon that the man was going for a swim upstream on the Yakima River. The current was too strong for the man, and took him downstream to the Wapato District Diversion Dam. Here, he was able to hold on to a pipe for several hours until he was rescued.

The dam is off Highway 97 going towards Wapato and is downstream from Century Landing.

Sheriffs say they got the call a little before 8:00 a.m. this morning. When they arrived, they found the 25-year-old homeless man from Wapato holding onto a pipe attached to the dam.

Irrigation workers were the ones who found the man after they heard him calling for help.

Water Rescue, the fire department, and the training center helped save him. 

Sheriffs say it's unclear how long he was stuck, but add that when they found him, his clothes were dry...leading them to believe that he could have been there overnight.

Authorities add that this man is very lucky to be alive. They also want to remind the public to be careful around the river and to be aware of how fast the water is moving.

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