A hiker was killed this week after being swept away by the West Fork White River while in Mount Rainier National Park, officials announced Sunday.
The woman was swept away Wednesday while attempting to cross the river while hiking the Northern Loop Trail, park spokeswoman Fawn Bauer wrote in a news release.
Pierce County medical examiners identified the woman as 22-year-old Qing Yue, a Chinese national who was attending college in the United States.
Other hikers had watched the woman get swept away and attempted to locate her, but they couldn’t find her, so they informed park rangers late Wednesday.
A ground crew tried to find her Thursday and stayed in the area overnight, and found Yue’s body Friday with assistance from a King County Sheriff’s Office helicopter. Pierce County sheriff’s deputies were able to remove her body from downed trees and debris in the river.
Yue’s body was found about 450 feet below the trail where she had entered the water.
“River crossings can be extremely hazardous this time of year,” Mount Rainier Superintendent Chip Jenkins said in the release. “These cold, swift-flowing waters require a high level of caution, even for those hikers with extensive experience, knowledge and skills.”
The release gave hikers advice on how to safely cross rivers and streams:
- Look for log jams, waterfalls and other hazards
- Before crossing, find a safe place to escape the water should you fall in
- Cross at areas with smooth bottoms and low water, and remember that water levels generally rise as the day goes on
- Unfasten your pack so you can remove it quickly should you get trapped in the water
- Use a stick to help give you additional stability while crossing
- If crossing the river seems too dangerous for you, turn back or find a different route.