SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. — It’s already been a deadly year on local waters.
An 18-year-old man died while swimming in Lake Sammamish earlier this month. His body wasn’t found until the next day.
RELATED | Body of 18-year-old recovered from Lake Sammamish
In April, one man died, and another ended up in the hospital in critical condition after a water rescue at Fivemile Lake in Auburn.
RELATED | 1 man dead, 1 in critical condition after water rescue at Fivemile Lake in Auburn
Danger on the water is the reason teams of first responders in Snohomish County came together to train this week at Lake Stevens.
“So we can all figure out each other’s capabilities, limitations and know how to work together in the future,” said Jamal Beckham of Snohomish Regional Fire and Rescue.
Rescue swimmers practiced pulling people from the water, along with marine/diver crews going deep below the surface. From high above, drones are now being used to spot someone who may not be easily visible from the surface.
“So that was one of the things we wanted to know today. Exactly how do we play with drones and swimmers and divers. That way we can be more efficient when the real emergency hits,” said Beckham.
Time is critical when someone gets in trouble while swimming or boating. The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, which maintains many lakes and reservoirs, say it only takes an average of 60 seconds for an adult to drown and for children, it’s 20 seconds.
That is why these lifesaving professionals want to be a fast as possible, and why they want you to take the proper precautions when you are going to be on or near the water.