Man drowns at Lake Sammamish State Park

June 24, 2010

By Warren Kagarise

Eastside Fire & Rescue Chaplain Shelley Frey (right) comforts the wife and son of a 23-year-old man who drowned in Lake Sammamish on Thursday afternoon. By Greg Farrar

UPDATED — 4:10 p.m. June 24, 2010

Rescuers said a 23-year-old man drowned in Lake Sammamish on Thursday afternoon during a family outing at the state park on a sunny, warm day.

The man had been swimming with his wife and young son when he became fatigued and disappeared beneath the lake’s surface just off the narrow swimming beach at the park. The beach has not had lifeguards since the program was eliminated amid budget cuts last year.

Eastside Fire & Rescue, as well as divers from the King County Sheriff’s Office and Mercer Island Police Department, responded to the scene at about 2:30 p.m.

Firefighters pulled the man from the lake, and medics performed CPR, but the man could not be saved. Medics transported him to Overlake Hospital Medical Center in Bellevue.

Rescuers did not release the man’s name. His identity and cause of death will be released by the King County Medical Examiner’s Office.

EFR spokeswoman Josie Williams said the man had been visiting the park with his wife, son and a cousin. After swimming with his son, he became fatigued, and his wife took the boy from his arms. Shortly after he handed the boy to her, he disappeared into 50-degree water about six to 10 feet deep.

The family spoke only Spanish, and a state park employee helped translate from the family to rescuers. Williams said the man knew how to swim, and she said alcohol was not a factor in the incident. Williams did not know the man’s city of residence.

EFR Chaplain Shelley Frey comforted the man’s family members at a picnic table near the swimming beach. The wife sat wrapped in a blue blanket not far from bikini-clad sunbathers and picnickers.

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One Response to “Man drowns at Lake Sammamish State Park”

  1. c on June 24th, 2010 9:32 pm

    If we had lifeguards this probably could’ve been avoided. But hey, what are our kids and families safety, when you have to spend money and pay all the big wigs of the city.

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