The Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Office released details on a body that was pulled from the Chehalis River last week, Undersheriff David Pimentel said it was reported just after noon on Thursday. A local Elma resident who had been swimming in the Chehalis River in the vicinity of the South Elma Bridge. The 18-year-old male subject had become distressed and had gone under the water.

Upon arrival, contact was made with a 17-year-old female Elma resident who had been swimming with the 18-year-old male. She reported that the two of them were attempting to swim across the river to a gravel bar when the male became distressed. She attempted to assist him before swimming to shore to retrieve a piece pallet to assist the distressed male. During that time the male subject went under.

The Grays Harbor Sheriff’s Office, District 5 Fire Department and the Elma Fire Department deployed resources to the area. A Grays Harbor Sheriff’s office boat was launched in an attempt to locate the victim. A request was made to the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office for an assist with their Dive Team. Numerous personnel, a boat, a drone and several Thurston County divers proceeded to search for the male subject and at 2111 hours divers located the victim under water. Family members were on scene. This was a very tragic event for all involved.

The Grays Harbor Sheriff’s Office wants to remind everyone how dangerous our local waterways can be. Yesterday’s temperature in Elma was in the 90’s and the water temperature was approximately 54 degrees below the surface which can be stressful on even the strongest of swimmers.

We would like to thank all of the first responders that assisted with this operation, especially our region 3 partners from the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office Dive Team.