Following a tragic drowning accident on Rattlesnake Lake on June 11th, and with continued sunny skies and hot temperatures predicted in the lead up to the long 4th of July weekend, Eastside Fire & Rescue officials are urging everyone to be extremely careful when heading out on the water.
EF&R says Pine Lake, Beaver Lake, Rattlesnake Lake, Lake Joy, Lake Kathleen, Lake McDonald, and Lake Sammamish, along with the Snoqualmie River and its tributaries attract lots of outdoor enthusiasts – especially this time of year.
“When temperatures are in the 70s we see people coming out to enjoy the water, but when we get above 80 degrees, there’s a community that pops up overnight on the banks and in the water,” according to Fire Chief Lee Soptich.
Soptich explained lakes, rivers and the Puget Sound waters can all be extremely cold this time of year. Rivers are still hovering below 50 degrees, with area lakes not much warmer.
With a low snow pack in the mountains this winter, the Snoqualmie River is also lower than normal, which can make jumping from local bridges like the Snoqualmie Valley Trail Bridge (popular with local teens) more dangerous.
EF&R warns alcohol, drugs, lack of flotation devices, inattention to conditions, unsupervised children, and poor swimmers, are common elements for injuries and drowning each year – and says just like hiking in the wilderness, “it’s important to have a plan and share it with someone who can check up on you after time has passed when you should be out of the water.”
For details about river safety, visit www.kingcounty.gov/riversafety. For more information on water safety and drowning prevention, visit the King County Water Safety website at www.kingcounty.gov/healthservices/health/injury/water.