This story was updated with information from a man who helped rescue the drowning victim.
LEAVENWORTH — A 65-year-old woman died Monday after a June 19 paddle boarding accident in the Wenatchee River at Blackbird Island in Leavenworth.
She was identified by Chelan County Coroner Wayne Harris as Alyson R. Berman of Leavenworth.
First responders were called to the area at 3:15 p.m. Before Chelan County deputies arrived, Nate Dillon, who lives near the scene, reached her by paddleboard.
Dillon contacted The Wenatchee World on Friday after reading an online report about the incident. His account offered information that was not available to Jason Reinfeld of the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office when he was interviewed by a reporter.
Dillon said he was at his home when his neighbors told him a woman, Berman, was underwater. Bystanders didn’t have flotation devices and couldn’t reach Berman, he said.
Dillon grabbed his own paddleboard and reached Berman and then went underwater and detached a leash connected to the paddleboard and her leg, he said. His board was swept away as he was freeing her. Dillon pulled Berman onto her board and gave her rescue breaths.
Soon after, a deputy with the sheriff’s office helped Dillon and Berman to shore. She was moved to the East Leavenworth Road boat launch, where medics performed CPR and established a pulse, according to Berman and Reinfeld.
Berman was transported to Central Washington Hospital and died Monday. The cause of death was drowning, according to Harris.
Reinfeld said Berman was wearing a fanny pack-style personal flotation device, but that it wasn’t inflated.