With hot weather expected for the weekend, officials urge recreational river and lake users to use caution if heading out on the water.
Temperatures in the region are expected to climb into the 80s over the weekend, and possibly into the 90s by early next week.
Sunny skies and summer temperatures typically draw more people to local rivers, lakes and even Puget Sound to cool off, but officials caution that water bodies remain very cold.
River temperatures can still be in the 40-degree range due to snow melt – and lakes are not that much warmer.
What’s more, as rivers begin to drop in the summer, branches, wood and rocks that were moved around by winter storms are exposed, creating additional hazards.
King County, Public Health – Seattle & King County and the King County Sheriff’s Office remind kayakers, boaters, rafters, swimmers and other river users to check conditions and scout rivers thoroughly for hazards before entering the water.
River users are encouraged to take safety precautions when recreating in rivers:•Wear a personal flotation device.
•Do not use alcohol or drugs when recreating on the river.•Watch children closely when they are on or near any type of water; stay close enough to reach them immediately.
•Choose safer swimming options with lifeguards present, such as a beach, lake or pool.
When planning a boating or floating trip:•Always tell someone your route, and when and where you expect to put in and take out.
•Have a back-up plan for emergency contact in case your trip is cut short by an unforeseen obstacle or emergency.•Never float the river alone and, if possible, make sure there is at least one oared craft in your group in case a rescue is needed.
•Bring a dry bag with food, water and warm clothes.
For more information on river safety and drowning prevention, visit the King County river safety website at kingcounty.gov/riversafety.