Sheriff Brian Burnett says a male friend of Sabra Crafton told dispatchers he tried to reach her when she began to struggle in the water at a public fishing hole east of Dryden.
The man says he nearly brought her back to shore Monday afternoon when she broke free to make another attempt to rescue her dog.
The sheriff's office says a kayaker later located Crafton submerged in the river near a Cashmere bridge. Nearby rafters were able to pull her out of the water and onto their raft. They began CPR and took her to a beach, where ambulance medics and firefighters tried for nearly 30 minutes to revive her. She was not wearing a life jacket.
The friend told dispatchers that he and Crafton had been on the shoreline, tossing a stick for the dog to fetch out of the water. She jumped in when the dog began to struggle in the river.