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Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

July 9, 2012 at 8:38 PM

19-year-old almost drowns at Green River near Ravensdale

Bystanders pulled a drowning 19-year-old from Green River near Ravensdale Monday afternoon, according to Sgt.  Cindi West of the King County Sheriff’s Department. He was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in critical condition.

A father and son had been wading in calm eddies near the shore, but the son ended up swimming too close to mild rapids in the middle of the river, West said. As the current started taking him away, the father tried to save him but had to let go or he, too, could have drowned.

Further downstream another father and son were able to dive 10 feet into the river to pull the son out and perform CPR. He did not regain consciousness. Monday night, he was in very critical condition at Harborview, West said.

West said that many swimmers don’t realize that the river’s freshly snow-melted water is so cold year-round that a swimmer’s body will often concentrate its heat and circulation toward the torso, leaving arms and legs less effective while swimming. The warmest Green River’s water gets near the mountains is usually about 45 degrees, she said.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s 80, 90, 100 degrees outside, that water is cold,” West said. “This time of year, it’s unfortunate that we have these kinds of accidents.”

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: Cindi West, drowning, Green River

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