Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Man rescued from Wenatchee River after attempting to avoid law enforcement


LEAVENWORTH – A 60-year-old man was rescued from a small island in the Wenatchee River after attempting to flee law enforcement.

At approximately 8:30 a.m. on May 22, Chelan County Deputies responded to a report of a male subject who had fallen into the Wenatchee River near Black Bird Island. Cascade Medical and Chelan County Fire District #3 joined the scene, sending a Fire District #3 rescue swimmer to the stranded man.

“Collaboration between Cascade Medical, Fire District 3, and Chelan County Sheriff’s Office was crucial for this successful operation and rescue,” Chelan County Sheriff’s Office stated in a press release.

The rescuer reached 60-year-old Victor V. Martin, who was hypothermic but uninjured.  A nearby fishing boat lent Martin and the rescuer a ride to the East Leavenworth Boat Launch, where Martin was treated by Cascade Medics.

Martin was evasive at the time of initial questioning from responders but later shared that in an effort to escape impending law enforcement, he had fled on foot and then jumped into the river on the night of May 21. The swift, cold water put Martin in distress, forcing him to take refuge on the small island on which he was later found.

According to a USGS gauge for the Wenatchee River, the river temperature was approximately 47 degrees Fahrenheit near the time of the response, and flows were almost five thousand cubic feet per second.

The Sheriff’s Office reported, “Martin acknowledged the danger of his actions and expressed gratitude for the rescue.”

“Chelan County Sheriff’s Office would also like to remind anyone trying to outswim the law that it  might seem like a reel-y good idea, but it’s more likely to make you the catch of  the day!” the press release stated.

Taylor Caldwell: 509-433-7276 or


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