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Log jam on Nooksack River. Photo: Whatcom County Public Works

Firefighters rescue 1 from Nooksack River gravel bar

DEMING, Wash. — Firefighters with Whatcom Fire District 14 were dispatched to a location on the Nooksack River North Fork about 10pm on July 30th due to a report of a person stranded in the river.

WCFD14 Fire Chief Jerry DeBruin told Whatcom News they were told 2 people were floating the river when they arrived on the gravel bar. 1 of the 2 made it to shore and they had been trying for hours to get the 2nd person ashore before calling 911.

DeBruin said firefighters determined the river channel nearest Mount Baker Highway was running too fast for a safe rescue. So they approached from the opposite side via North Fork Road which put them within a half mile of the gravel bar and they hiked the rest of the way carrying their equipment.

They were able to assist the uninjured person off the gravel bar and provide them with a warm blanket for the walk back.

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DeBruin said he was thankful the people involved didn’t take excessive risks in trying to get ashore otherwise this might have been a more risky river rescue or had a tragic outcome.

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