Courtesy Photo, Public Health - Seattle & King County

Courtesy Photo, Public Health - Seattle & King County

King County health officials urge caution around rivers, lakes

Warm Memorial Day weekend weather expected to draw people to swimming, boating

With air temperatures expected to approach 80 degrees over the long Memorial Day holiday weekend and boating season underway, King County health and safety officials are urging everyone to be safe around open water, which remains bone-chilling cold.

Springtime means rivers are running with especially cold, fast flows due to snowmelt, while lakes and Puget Sound are also quite cold. Cold water can shock and quickly overwhelm and debilitate even the strongest of swimmers in a short time, according to a King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks press release.

River managers and emergency responders carry the most concern for swimmer safety during the warm weather early in the season when people are drawn to the water for floating, swimming, and boating while water temperatures are still cold. With a particularly large snowpack in the Cascades this year, water temperatures are expected to remain cold long into the season.

“Life jackets are essential if you do go on the river or lake,” said Tony Gomez, violence and injury prevention manager for Public Health – Seattle & King County. “Always wear a life jacket when boating, paddling, rafting, and inner tubing. Swimming is a great source of physical activity, but dangerous if proper safety measures are not in place,”

“Sadly, there has already been one drowning this season on the Green River recently when a man attempted to rescue a woman who had accidentally fallen in the river,” said King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht. “Most preventable drowning incidents occur on open water, and wearing a lifejacket is one of the ways you can help prevent these tragedies.”

King County, Public Health – Seattle & King County, and the King County Sheriff’s Office encourage kayakers, boaters, rafters, swimmers and other river users to check conditions and scout rivers thoroughly for hazards before entering the water. Sometimes the best plan is to not enter the water.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@bothell-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.bothell-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Northwest

Courtesy Image, King County Emergency Services
Places to stay cool in King County with temps to break 100 degrees

Libraries, malls among spots to go; several cities to open cooling centers

Gov. Jay Inslee waves during his Thursday morning press conference on extending protections for renters. (TVW)
Governor extends some protections for Washington renters

Under a new order, landlords can only evict a tenant if they refuse to seek help through a relief program.

Between Saturday, Sept. 12, and Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020, every air quality monitor in Washington state recorded levels of particulate pollution above the federal 24-hour standard. (Source: Department of Ecology)
Wildfire smoke: A burning health issue is getting worse

Health experts are urging Washingtonians to prepare for more of what they… Continue reading

Screenshot from Google Images
Hot housing market forces out many first-time homebuyers

Housing experts concerned about the long-term impacts on generational wealth.

Stock photo
Too Good To Go app aims to creatively reduce food waste

Nearly 40 percent of all food goes to waste worldwide, according to compnay spokesperson.

King County logo
Auditors find racial disparities in King County contracts

BIPOC-owned businesses earn contract bids at a much lower rate than white-owned businesses.

A plane drops fire retardant on the Palmer Mountain Fire last summer in north-central Washington. Laura Knowlton/Sound Publishing staff photo
Washington can expect a warmer, drier summer – and more wildfires

The threat of wildfires in much of Washington state is expected to… Continue reading

Stock photo
State to allow ‘Joints for Jabs’ promotions to support vaccinations

Retailers temporarily allowed to provide a joint for adults vaccinated at in-store clinics

Pedro Miola inspects the panel to ensure the bees are healthy. (Photo by Cameron Sheppard)
Eye of the bee-holder: Urban beekeeping buzzes in the Pacific Northwest

How a young man on-track to become a doctor found his calling in an ancient trade.

Courtesy image
As vax rates ease in WA, here come the prizes — including $1 million

Incentives range from big cash drawings to sports tickets and tuition. Drawings start next week.

Jackie Hoernor winces as she gets her Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination during a Walgreen’s Vaccine Clinic at South Pointe on Friday, Feb. 12, 2021, in Everett, Washington. (Sound Publishing file photo)
Washington no longer on pace to beat June 30 vaccine goal

Reaching 70% of adults with at least one shot would trigger the state to drop most COVID-19 restrictions.

t
King County Council approves facial recognition technology ban

Software ban applies to King County Sheriff’s Office