Mount Rainier hiker killed after falling into White River, park says …

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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 killed after trying to cross the river Wednesday while hiking the Northern Loop Trail, according to park spokeswoman Fawn Bauer.

The Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the woman as 22-year-old Qing Yue, a Chinese national attending college in the United States.

Other hikers had watched the woman get swept away and tried to find her, but couldn’t, so they informed park rangers late Wednesday.

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A ground crew tried to find Yue on Thursday and stayed in the area overnight. They found her body Friday with help from a King County Sheriff’s Office helicopter. Pierce County sheriff’s deputies recovered her body from downed trees and debris in the river.

She was found about 450 feet below the trail where she had entered the river.

“River crossings can be extremely hazardous this time of year,” Mount Rainier Superintendent Chip Jenkins said in a press 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 this 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 for additional stability while crossing.

If crossing the river seems too dangerous, turn back or find a different route.

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