The King County Sheriff’s office wants to remind everyone that water safety should be of paramount importance this weekend.
Most drowning deaths in King County occur in April, May, and July – 56 percent or nine out of 16 in 2009.
With the first really good weather forecast of the season, people are expected to take to the area’s lakes and rivers. “While the weather will be great, the rivers and lakes of King County are still very cold. And the rivers are fast-moving, and extremely dangerous,” Sheriff Sue Rahr said.
Furthermore, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began releasing water from the Howard Hanson Dam on Wednesday evening, May 12th. Therefore flows on the Green River will be high through at least Saturday night.
This means the Green River will be even more dangerous than usual, especially for unprepared or inexperienced users.
Fast-moving river waters, whether in southeast King County or northeast King County, can pull unsuspecting users under tress and logjams left over from the winter, and drowning results.
The rivers and lakes are still very cold from snow melt-off, so hypothermia is a problem. It affects everyone, no matter the age, size or experience. It will take away a persons ability to swim or tread water. Wear thermal protection.