Friends remember swimmer who drowned at Palouse Falls

(STORY IMAGE:KHQ.COM)

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Wash. -Friends and family are coming together to remember a young man from Colville who died, when a day at Palouse Falls turned into tragedy.

Crews from Franklin County say they recovered the body of 23-year-old Isaac Engell who drowned more than a week ago when he disappeared under the water.

Friends say Engell touched a lot of people's lives and always had a smile on his face.  "He was just the kindest person you could ever meet," said Marcus DeLano, who has been friends with Engell for eight years.

DeLano says Engell was adventurous.  "He would go out and go hiking. He would go biking and swimming everywhere. That was his lifestyle. He just really enjoyed everything that his life could offer him,” he said.

Over the years, DeLano said they played music together and went to blue grass festivals, where Engell would play guitar with his brothers.

He loved people. "His faith in God and how much he used that to love other people and how he put it into other people's lives, was so inspiring to me and it helped me understand that this is a guy that you can depend on. To have him in my life for that long and for him to be gone like that, it leaves a really big hole in my life and so many other people as well," said DeLano.

Nobody was prepared for what happened at Palouse Falls.  The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office says kayakers found Engell’s body several miles downstream from where he disappeared. Deputies say three men in their early 20's were swimming in a pool underneath the waterfall, when a strong current sucked two of them into deeper water. Two of the three got back to safety and what started out as a fun trip to the falls, turned deadly for Engell.

“We know we will see him again and that is the biggest thing that we are happy for,” said DeLano. He says this isn't goodbye. This is only see you later.

DeLano says this has taught him to realize how fragile life really is and to appreciate what everybody does in your life and share it with others. He says there is a memorial planned for Engell later in May.

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