Family of drowning victim cautions others against going in river

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by Shawn Chitnis & KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on July 27, 2012 at 11:19 PM

Updated Friday, Jul 27 at 11:21 PM

SPOKANE VALLEY--The family of a Spokane Valley man who drowned is speaking out.  They're urging caution when entering the water after tragedy came out of the river for them last weekend.
   
This summer we've seen almost a dozen drownings in the Spokane River.  Friday, the family of the most recent victim is still trying to accept what happened.

Last Saturday, Vince Wheeler was rafting on the Spokane River when he fell into the river and was pinned by a log under the Sandifur Bridge.  It kept him two feet below the water for more than an hour.  Crews were able to get him out of the river but could not revive him.
   
Almost a week after he died, his family is speaking out to remember their brother and to make sure those who loved him have a chance to say goodbye.  There will be a service next month for Wheeler at Valleypoint Church.

They believe he was wearing a life jacket at the time and was someone who thought about safety often.  They wonder if it's still worth floating on the river even with the proper protective gear.

The Spokane County Sheriff's Office plans to rove parts of the river Saturday checking for life jackets.  There's a $76 fine for anyone without one.
 

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