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TUESDAY, JULY 5, 2011, 1:22 P.M.

Woman drowns rafting Wenatchee River

RIVER RUNNING -- A 69-year-old Chelan County woman drowned Sunday while on a guided rafting trip on the Wenatchee River.

The Wenatchee World says Sharon G. Hughes was one of seven family members and a guide in a raft that hit log jam in the middle of the afternoon. Six family members were able to climb out of the raft onto the log jam, said Sgt. Mike Harris. But the raft flipped over with Hughes and the guide in it, throwing them both into the water. Harris said the woman was swept under the log jam, but washed back out after being under it for one to two minutes.

Rafters indicated the accident occurred at logs blocking the river left side of Boulder Bend rapids.

Read on for details.

Harris said the guide pulled the woman across the river to the opposite bank. But she died on the shore despite efforts to revive her with CPR before the arrival of rescuers, who were called at 2:34 p.m.

The woman's husband, Wiliam Hughes, 70, fell off the log jam and was washed downriver for a short distance to the KOA Kampground, where he was able to get out of the river on his own. Harris said the man was treated for minor injuries at Central Washington Hospital.

The trip started near Leavenworth's Wilson Street and the accident took place near Riverbend Drive, also near Leavenworth. There were no other serious injuries.

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Rich Landers
Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.

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