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June 15, 2012 at 5:02 PM

Searchers find woman’s body in Green River

The body of a 22-year-old Kent woman who fell into Green River Thursday night was found this afternoon, according to Tim Perciful, a spokesman for the King County Fire Department.

The family of the victim identified the woman as Sharmaigne Ann Lumauig to KIRO 7.

Lumauig, a nursing student who had recently emigrated from the Philippines, was hiking with four other family and friends near the Green River Gorge Bridge when she slipped and fell in around 7 p.m. Thursday night.

Her cousin went into the river after her, but lost his grip on her and watched her wash farther downstream, according to Sgt. Cindi West of the King County Sheriff’s Office.

The male was rescued by the King County sheriff’s marine unit and transported to Saint Elizabeth Hospital in Enumclaw for treatment of hypothermia.

A steep trail near the area Lumauig slipped from turns into a slippery, slate rock that rises about 12 feet above the water, West said.

“We were slipping around them ourselves as we were trying to rescue the young man,” said West, who was part of the rescue operation. Rescuers worked until almost 11 p.m. Thursday night and then resumed their search around 10 a.m. this morning.

The Lumauig’s body was found about two miles from where she slipped into the river, Perciful said. After a helicopter spotted her pink backpack searchers were sent on rafts to recover her body.

A man who lives nearby in the Green River Gorge Resort said he met the group of hikers. John Thompson said they arrived in a car with California license plates and parked about 1/4 mile from the Green River Gorge Bridge.

Thompson advised the group to stay on a main trail that would take them to the ghost town of Franklin. He warned them, he said, to stay off the fork trails towards the river because the banks and the river below are notoriously dangerous.

Last month Everett City Councilman Drew Nielsen drowned not far from where the hikers fell in during a rafting trip. The current was so strong in the area that after his raft turned over the current ripped off Nielsen’s life vest.

The water in the area is also extremely cold even as the air above it warms up. Captain Mark Konoske of the King County Sheriff’s Office warned those tempted to go for a swim that one can’t be in the water very long before getting hypothermia.

 

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: Drew Nielsen, King County Sheriff's Office, Mark Konoske

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