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Heat Wave Behind Drowning Accidents In Washington, Officials Say

The historic heat wave hitting Washington state and several other areas in the country is putting lives at risk due to overheating and lack of proper cooling mechanisms. According to local law enforcement, many have already died as a result of the record-breaking high temperatures. 

As Washington residents flock to beaches in search of relief from the heat, some did not return home. In Kirkland, the body of a man was pulled from Lake Washington Sunday morning. According to officials, Kirkland Fire Department personnel tried to resuscitate him for 30 minutes before declaring him dead. On the same day, another man also died following a dip into Angle Lake in SeaTac.  

On Monday, officials recovered the body of a 58-year-old woman who went missing while swimming in the Stillaguamish River in Snohomish County. 

Washington Officials Warn: Wear Your Life Jackets To Avoid Deadly Incidents

Each summer, officials register several deadly drowning accidents. However, law enforcement and emergency personnel are particularly worried now as the higher temperatures bring a greater number of people to local lakes and rivers. 

The waters can be deceptively cold, shocking bathers and even experienced swimmers. When enjoying time in the water, it is important to always have a life jacket on.  Life jackets are especially important for children as most drownings involving children are silent and can happen suddenly.  

So far, King County officials said, at least 12 drownings have been registered. Help to revert this trend by taking simple precautions when visiting local lakes or rivers. Precautions include either obtaining a lifejacket or stopping by life jacket loaner stations near boat ramps, marinas, paddleboat launch sites, or other locations at state parks. They are free and can save your life.

Officials also urge swimmers to contact the U.S. Geological Survey at 253-428-3600 ext. 2635 to check river or stream conditions in your area ahead of time. 

Remember, swimming in open water is always more difficult than in a pool. Being aware of your limits can help save your life.

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