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King County warns against going into local rivers after 3 drownings in less than a week

Two of the latest drownings happened on the Green River in south King County.

KING COUNTY, Wash. — The King County Sheriff's Office is urging people not to go in the river this Memorial Day weekend after three drownings in just five days.

Two of the latest drownings happened on the Green River in south King County.

On Monday a man, 24, was jumping off rocks into the river with a coworker. He found a tire swing and decided to jump from that. He ended up going out too far in the river before being swept away.

Just two days before that, a woman, 20, was hiking with friends near the Green River Gorge. She slipped and fell into the water. A friend jumped in to try and save her, but could not get to her in time.

A 65-year-old man was the first to drown in King County in May. He was in a boat with someone else, trying to cross the White River when the boat overturned. He could not swim.

"It's so dangerous right now with the water, with the temperatures," said Sergeant Ryan Abbott with the KCSO. "Even strong swimmers, in this climate right now (and) this time of the month being how strong the water is and how high it is, it's impossible for even strong swimmers to come out of it."

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The last reported drowning in Pierce County was in late April. A man, 62, was kayaking on the Puget Sound near Ketron Island. He was an avid kayaker and this was a common part of his routine, officials said.

Snohomish County reported one drowning on May 8. A teenage boy, just 17, was cliff jumping near Cedar Ponds in Monroe.

"Usually May and June, it's the first real snowmelt off from the mountains, so we are talking about 50-degree water and so hypothermia hits really quickly," said Sgt. Abbott. "We strongly encourage people to stay away from the water at this time because of how cold it is and how dangerous it is, again the rivers, the current is really strong and it will quickly pull people under," he said.

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