Man drowns in Wenatchee River after attempting to rescue pet pig

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Man drowns in Wenatchee River

A man drowned Sunday in a rafting accident on the Wenatchee River. According to a Chelan County Sheriff’s office news release.

Ronald Ripper, 45, of Monitor man was floating down the river around 6 p.m. with his son and a pet pig in separate flotation tubes when the pig fell out about midway between Monitor and the Sleepy Hollow Bridge.

Ripper jumped into the river in an attempt to rescue the pig, but was seen struggling to stay afloat.

His adult son yelled to other people on the river and the shoreline that his father had disappeared under water.

Witnesses were able to locate the pig and take it to shore.

Ripper was eventually located by deputies downstream near the Sleepy Hollow Bridge.

Deputies entered the river and pulled him to the shore.

The victim was declared dead after 20 minutes of life saving efforts by emergency crews with Ballard Ambulance.

Chelan County Coroner Wayne Harris said Monday the cause of death was accidental “asphyxia due to fresh water drowning. “

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Steve Hair
Steve Hair is a 40-year veteran broadcast journalist who comes to NCW LIFE TV after a long career in radio. Steve and his wife Lynette and their three sons moved to the Wenatchee Valley from Central California in 1992. Steve served as News Director for KPQ News where he covered a multitude of stories of importance to North Central Washington, including two of Washington State’s largest wildfires. During his radio career Steve has received many awards from organizations such as the Associated Press, (Sacramento and Seattle Bureaus) The Washington State Farm Bureau, and the California Medical Association. Steve is a sports addict. Time off usually finds him sprawled out on the couch watching the Seahawks, Mariners or anything that prevents him from doing house chores.