Update: The 14-year-old died at Harborview Medical Center Tuesday morning. The most recent story can be found here.
Seattle firefighters and police pulled a teen out of Lake Washington Monday afternoon and transported him to Seattle Children’s hospital, where he is listed in critical condition.
Seattle Fire Department and other authorities came to the rescue after receiving a report at 2:24 p.m. that a teen was “submerged” in the water in the Magnuson Park area. No other information was available early Monday evening.
Anyone venturing out onto a body of water should wear a life vest, tell someone where they’re going and check the marine forecast and water temperatures in addition to the weather, experts say.
Meteorologist Ted Buehner warned that jumping into a river or lake this time of year is like getting into a cold shower; it takes your breath away. When that happens while swimming, a person ends up gulping water and quickly finds themselves in a deadly situation.
Rob Sendak, the boating program manager for Washington State Parks and Recreation, warned about getting hypothermia but said, “A fall into cold water can drown a person within minutes due to cold-water shock” before hypothermia develops.
Popular rivers for recreation in both Western and Eastern Washington get especially cold in spring because they have snowmelt coursing through them.
For example, the water temperature in rivers originating in the mountains, like the upper reaches of the Green River, are in the upper 30s, while the lower portion temperatures are in the 40s, said Buehner.
Many of Washington’s lakes never get warmer than 60 degrees, a temperature that can get a boater or swimmer quickly in trouble, Sendak said.