NEAR ENUMCLAW, Wash. -- It was nearly an hour after the call came in that divers were able to find a 17-year-old boy who witnesses say went under at a south King County lake and didn’t surface.
Members of the King County Sheriff’s Office Dive Team found the boy in 50-foot deep water at Deep Lake in Nolte State Park near Enumclaw.
Witnesses said the boy was a strong swimmer, even a member of a swim team in his home town of Yakima. He was reportedly with a Yakima Community Church group that is attending a Christian festival in Enumclaw.
One witness said he thought the boy was fooling around but then realized too late that he was in trouble.
King County Fire District 44 Public Information Officer Tim Perciful said the 53 degree water temperature is cold enough to get even good swimmers in trouble.
It also may give the boy his best chance for survival. Cold water can preserve the bodies of drowning victims, allowing rescuers to revive them even after prolonged periods under water.
Rescuers performed CPR on the boy from the minute they got him out all the way to a hospital in Auburn, where at last report doctors were still working on him.