Snoqualmie River. Courtesy photo

Snoqualmie River. Courtesy photo

Authorities urge water safety after teen drowns in Snoqualmie River

After a 17-year-old teen drowned in the Snoqualmie River on July 14 near Snoqualmie, the city is reminding residents to stay safe on the river.

The teen died after jumping off an old railway trestle spanning the river along SE Reinig Road in Snoqualmie. A man drowned above Snoqualmie Falls near Sandy Cove Park last March. And in late June, another man drowned in the river below Snoqualmie Falls, according to a press release from the city.

“These are examples of the many ways a person can get into unexpected trouble, emphasizing the need for river safety,” the release states.

Rivers are fed from snowpack runoff, which can shock swimmers. The river also has a strong current and rocks and other hazards hidden beneath the surface. A strong undertow current exists in many areas, which combined with hidden logs and rocks, can trap and pin people beneath the water.

“Even a strong swimmer can become quickly incapacitated,” the release states.

King County maintains a list of known river hazards in the county. The cite states there is a boating hazard near Snoqualmie Falls Golf Course. The river pushes floaters along the left bank of the river where trees fall in from the eroding bank.

The city recommends people never jump or dive into unfamiliar water, avoid swimming at dusk and night, wear a lifejacket and know river conditions before getting in the water.

King County also recommends people wear life jackets in rivers. It discourages the use of drugs or alcohol. Children should be watched closely near any type of water.

According King County, there were 4,508 drowning deaths in the U.S.. In Washington state during the same year, there were 98 drowning deaths. Drowning, along with fires and burns were the second leading cause of unintentional injury death for children and teens in the state. In King county in 2018, 16 people died of drownings.

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