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Open Water Is Very Dangerous At This Time Of Year

Armen Hareyan's picture

Warm weather and cold water is a dangerous combination and each year, King County residents die when they venture into these waters without appropriate lifesaving gear and lifeguard protection.

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In early summer, King County lakes and Puget Sound are extremely cold, and snowpack melt means that rivers are running deep, cold and swift. Public Health is urging all residents to use extreme precaution when recreating around open water.

"Late spring is not a good time to be swimming in local rivers, lakes or in the Sound," said Dr. David Fleming, Director and Health Officer for Public Health - Seattle & King County. "Even the best swimmers with lifejackets may not be prepared for the unexpected cold water and may quickly find themselves in serious trouble."

In 2006, there were 31 drowning deaths in King County, more than any year for the past ten years. Twenty-one of the drownings took place in open water like rivers, lakes, or Puget Sound. Nine of them