By Eric Stevick Herald Writer
LAKE ROESIGER — An Auburn boy pulled from Lake Roesiger Sunday has died, the seventh drowning fatality in Snohomish County this year.
Cooper W. Howat, 8, had been in the water roughly an hour before the Snohomish County sheriff’s Dive Team and Marine Unit could find him.
He was taken to the hospital Sunday afternoon and died around 4 p.m., Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Shari Ireton said.
The boy was attending a family gathering at the lake east of Snohomish. The incident was reported about 2:20 p.m. Sunday.
He reportedly was swimming from a dock to a raft about 40 feet away, Snohomish County sheriff’s Lt. Rodney Rochon said.
Police were told that he attempted to climb onto the raft but was struggling. Some people on the raft saw him slip under the water, Rochon said. They initially believed he intended to swim under the raft and surface on the other side. The boy never came up.
Lake Roesiger firefighters and sheriff’s divers raced to the scene. Boaters on the lake tried to locate the boy.
The sheriff’s office launched its helicopter to aid in the search. The water was relatively clear and the dive team was able to find the boy without using a new underwater robot it acquired earlier this year, Ireton said.
Once on scene, divers quickly found the boy about 27 feet down. Paramedics immediately began life-saving efforts.
Sunday’s incident was the second time over the weekend that a child was hospitalized after a mishap involving water.
A 3-year-old girl was unconscious when she was pulled from a swimming pool Saturday at a home in Edmonds. She was breathing by the time paramedics took her to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.
Because of medical privacy, the girl’s condition was not immediately available on Monday.
The list of drowning victims this year includes a couple, 36 and 31, whose car went off a roadway into the Snohomish River; a fisherman, 49, at Silver Lake; a rafter, 54, near Oso; a man, 44, whose boat capsized off Tulalip Bay; and a special needs student, 20, who died in the Lake Stevens High School pool.
There also have been five reports of close calls, including three boys 13 and under, according to Safe Kids Snohomish County.
“We haven’t even seen warm weather,” Safe Kids Snohomish County coordinator Shawneri Guzman said.
Two children and two adults drowned in Snohomish County in 2012 when there were seven known near misses. “Drowning is silent and it can happen in less than a minute,” Guzman said.
Unlike in the movies, drowning often involves little splashing or yelling because people are using so much energy just trying to keep their head above water, she said.
Guzman said adults should keep their eyes on their children the entire time they are in the water.
“We recommend staying within arms length particularly in deep water,” she said.
They also should be aware of how tiring swimming and water-related activities can be. The mere act of laughing can take a lot of air and it’s easy not to recognize or misjudge fatigue. “You can be an excellent swimmer and get too tired or get a leg cramp,” she said.
Eric Stevick: 425-339-3446, firstname.lastname@example.org