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. “