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Body of Graham drowning victim recovered from Puyallup River

A Pierce County Public Works backhoe clears a logjam in the Puyallup River on Sunday that trapped and killed a Graham inner tuber Saturday night.
A Pierce County Public Works backhoe clears a logjam in the Puyallup River on Sunday that trapped and killed a Graham inner tuber Saturday night. Courtesy

Pierce County sheriff’s deputies Sunday afternoon recovered the body of a Graham man who drowned Saturday evening in the Puyallup River near Orting.

The 51-year-old was inner-tubing with three or four friends down the river when he got trapped beneath a logjam, Sheriff’s Department spokesman Ed Troyer said.

Pierce County medical examiners identified the man as Kenneth Keen, 51.

According to Troyer:

Deputies were called about 7:20 p.m., but rescuers determined it was too dangerous to go into the logjam.

Pierce County Surface Water Management brought a backhoe Sunday to the site, clearing the jam about 12:30 p.m., allowing deputies in the rescue team to recover the body.

The inner tube and personal flotation device the man was using were of poor quality.

“Rivers are running fast, there’s debris in them, water’s a lot colder than people think,” Troyer said. “People have to respect the power of rivers.”

Kenny Ocker: 253-597-8627, @KennyOcker

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