LAKE STEVENS, Wash. - A young boy, and girl are in critical condition after going underwater at Davies Park in Lake Stevens on Sunday night – a 13-year-old boy, who also went under, has died.
Investigators say the three were dropped off at Davies Park for a day on the beach. It’s not known what led up to the drowning, but according to a public information officer with Snohomish Regional Fire and Rescue all three were in a shallow swimming area.
"I can’t stress enough how important a life jacket is to wear – especially in this weather," said Peter Mongillo. "It’s beautiful, but that water is bone chilling cold. It’ll suck the energy out of you."
Mongillo told FOX 13 that there was no lifeguard on-duty, but life jackets are available for free at a kiosk at the park. With upwards of 100 people in the water, he said it’s hard to keep track of all the swimmers – which can add to the danger on warm days when people flock to the water to cool down.
While extreme heat has arrived in Puget Sound this week, water temperatures have remained dangerously low – creating a perfect storm for water rescues. Cold water can tire people out quickly, and cold water shock is also a possibility.
On area rivers that are fueled by glacier run-off the water can also be flowing exceptionally fast.
In addition to the drowning on Lake Stevens, crews were also dispatched to Granite Falls and the Green River Gorge this weekend for deadly incidents.
Pat Pawlak, with Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority, told FOX 13 that his crew has been sent on multiple water rescues on both Saturday and Sunday.
A 20-year-old man is missing and presumed dead after an incident on the Green River Gorge.
On Sunday, they were able to successfully rescue a family in Renton that was on a river near Ron Regis Park. At least 6 people ended up in the water. Three were able to make it to shore, while a good Samaritan rescued two others. The final person was found, and rescued, by a rescue team member in a kayak.
"Look at our warnings," said Pawlak. "Make sure you know your abilities, and don’t overdo it in the water as far as swimming. Know what the water is. Obviously, there’s a difference between lakes and rivers. The rivers are running fast now, and they’re really cold."