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Rescued Teenager’s Condition Improves

A 13-year-old girl who had no pulse when she was fished out of the Stehekin River was improving in Central Washington Hospital in Wenatchee on Saturday.

Chelsea Courtney of Stehekin fell into the river during a commercial rafting trip on Friday morning. She had no pulse when she was pulled from the water, but fellow rafters and medics were able to revive her.

Her condition had improved from critical to serious by Saturday morning and she was taken off a respirator.

Courtney was on a trip organized by Stehekin Adventure Company, which is operated by her uncle, Cliff Courtney.

Phil Campbell, management assistant for the Lake Chelan Recreation Area, said one of the two rafts spilled, dumping its eight passengers. Five were able to reach a logjam, Campbell said.

A second raft rescued two of those people but Courtney, who was wearing a life jacket and wet suit, became trapped under the logjam, Campbell said.

The people on the logjam were able to free her.

The two nurses on the trip immediately performed CPR and re-established a pulse, Campbell said. Emergency crews from the National Park Service arrived and transported the girl to the aircraft landing area.

Karl Jonasson, a paramedic with Lake Chelan Community Hospital emergency medical services, arrived by airplane an hour after the accident to find the girl conscious but unresponsive to verbal commands.

That is common when someone has been deprived of oxygen, Jonasson said.

“The reason this came off well is because people that were close to the patient and knew CPR didn’t quit,” Jonasson said.