SUMNER, Wash. – Four adults heard screams for help Monday afternoon and jumped in the water when they saw a man struggling in the cold waters of the Puyallup River in Washington State.
A 46-year-old Tacoma man was fishing with his family on the river, close to where the White River intersects according to Carmen Palmer, a spokesperson for the city of Sumner and Sumner police.
“He slipped and fell. And the rivers are running very fast. The river quickly swept him away. He is not a swimmer,” Palmer said.
Xeilias Canani said his friend Kyle, and Kyle’s wife, went in first.
“These guys are apparently swimmers, and they were having trouble,” Canani said, describing the cold water.
Canani and another woman also went in. That woman told KIRO7 she heard the children nearby asking, “Is my dad OK?”
While others on shore were already on the phone with 911, they swam back. But Canani said his glasses were missing, as were his friend’s wallet and keys.
“That was just messed up, really,” he said. “It’s the world we live in.”
By the time his friends had finished giving police their statements, they found out their stolen credit cards had already been used at a gas station.
The search was suspended overnight, but crews returned to the river Tuesday to continue.
Officials said the man was not wearing a personal flotation device.