Three 14-year-old girls were rescued early Sunday after spending a night on the Yakima River, according to the Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office.

The girls became stranded while rafting. Jenna Spiess, Faith Lake and Jasmine Tran were staying with Spiess’ family in Easton, according to the Sheriff’s Office. They started their trip near the Sun Island area at 4:30 p.m. and informed their family they would be making “the loop” around Sun Island. They expected to return within two hours.

When they did not return, family members began to search for the girls and called the Sheriff’s Office.

The Sheriff’s Office swiftwater rescue team searched the river and tributaries until 2 a.m., but did not find the girls, according to the Sheriff’s Office. At 7 a.m. Kittitas County Search and Rescue and the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office joined the search with a helicopter.

The helicopter located the girls on the north side of the Yakima River 1.5 miles from where they started, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

The Chelan County Sheriff’s Office pilots Pete Peterson and Deputy Mike McLeod landed in a nearby clearing and picked the girls up. The girls were then flown to the Easton Fire Department where they were reunited with their family. The girls were cold, but uninjured, the Sheriff’s Office said.

“These young ladies did the right thing,” said Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office Clay Myers. “They told people where they were going and when they expected to return.”

Myers said the girls also were correct in stopping when they found themselves in the wrong tributary and waiting for help.

The Sheriff’s Office thanks all the volunteers and the Chelan County helicopter crew for helping with the rescue, he said.


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