Statewide drownings in Washington prompt warning from officials - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Statewide drownings in Washington prompt warning from officials

SPOKANE, Wash.- Law enforcement in the Inland Northwest is issuing a warning to swimmers and boaters everywhere in the wake of three drowning deaths statewide in the span of 48 hours. Authorities say they want to remind everyone of several rules:

  • Do Not Mix Alcohol and Water Activity
  • Remember that Spring Runoff keeps Rivers Running Higher and Faster Than Normal—a place you'd normally be able to swim in in July is not safe
  • Water Temperatures are still Very Low, about 40 Degrees—if you fall in, your chance of survival is low

Over the weekend there were three drowning deaths. The first happened near Priest Lake early Saturday morning. Bonner County Sheriff's Deputies say two teenagers from Nine Mile Falls, drowned in Lion Head Creek near Priest Lake. Officials believe they got caught in fast-moving water. 

Also, a 46-year-old Tacoma man died after he dove into the Naches River near the Tri-Cities. Officials say he climbed a train trestle and jumped into the river, then was swept downstream. Police believe he had been drinking. 

And Pierce County, police say a man who couldn't swim drowned in Lake Tapps. Police found Peter Talaga fully dressed. Right now they're investigating how Talaga fell into the river and whether he went in intentionally.

If you live in Spokane County, or nearby, the Spokane County Sheriff's Office Marine Unit is holding free boater safety classes. Everyone under the age of 30 is required to take the class if they plan on operating a motorized boat on Washington lakes or rivers. Find more information about the classes by CLICKING HERE

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