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Washington water is still dangerously cold even as the weather gets warmer, rescue crews warn

In the last two weeks alone rescue crews were called to the Green River Gorge twice. One man did not survive.

AUBURN, Wash. — Water rescue crews warn temperatures in lakes, rivers and the Puget Sound could be cold until late July as people get ready to enjoy the water amid warmer weather.

Currently, although temperatures have been hovering in the 70s in Western Washington, temperatures in lakes and rivers are in the mid-50s. The Puget Sound and Lake Tapps are at a chilly 54 degrees this weekend. The Foothill Rivers are even colder, in the low 40s.

In the last two weeks alone, crews were called out on rescues to the Green River Gorge twice. One man did not survive.

In 2020, 22 people lost their lives in Washington state in boating accidents. Six people also went missing on the water.

Rescue crews are asking boaters to perform vessel safety checks before going out on the water, which local marine law enforcement can now do virtually.

Water rescue teams also stressed the importance of wearing a life jacket, carrying communication devices on vessels, and urged against operating a boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

National Safe Boating Week also started this weekend. Officials are taking the opportunity to educate the public about safety ahead of Memorial Day Weekend.