The Wenatchee River above Tumwater Canyon is calm and beautiful as it flowed along Highway 2 towards Leavenworth, Washington on August 13th. A group floating the river, three rafts manned by two adults and five young girls, had no idea what lay ahead. Investigators later described the rafts as “the sort of thing that you buy at a discount store” and noted that there was only one PFD on board. But anyone who drove further down the road could see the notorious Class V+ Rapids waiting below.
Below the “Old Iron Bridge” the river changes character abruptly, and the group washed into the first big rapid. The results were predictable. According to a Wenatchee World article sent by AW’s Paul Delaney, two of the three rafts flipped, tossing four people into the water. Three were stranded in mid-river and had to be rescued. A fourth rafter, Alisa Belcourt, 15, could not be found. Emergency responders searched the area for over a week; her body was finally found on August 22nd.