By Rikki King Herald Writer
INDEX — An 18-year-old man drowned Monday in the Skykomish River near Index.
The man had gone fishing with friends in the Eagle Falls area and went for a swim, Index Fire Chief Ernie Walters said.
Witnesses told rescuers that the man almost immediately began suffering breathing problems due to the cold water, Walters said. He went under about 11:40 a.m.
The man’s friends tried to rescue him but had to turn back due to the cold water. A couple of kayakers in the area also searched for the man.
Rescue crews poured in from throughout east Snohomish County and Skykomish, as well as the county sheriff’s marine unit and rescue helicopter. The helicopter crew helped find the man in the water about 12:30 p.m.
He was found about 200 feet from the base of the falls. He was in about eight feet of water, about 20 feet from the shore, the chief said.
Crews worked for more than an hour trying to resuscitate the man but were unsuccessful. They don’t believe he was wearing a life jacket.
The man’s body was expected to be taken to the Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office. His name was not released Monday.
Meanwhile, rescue crews also pulled at least eight people out of the Stillaguamish River on Monday evening in the area of River Meadows Park near Arlington.
The incident was believed to be related to a rafting mishap. The people involved were wearing life jackets, according to the sheriff’s office.
The drowning Monday was the second in the county in as many days. On Sunday, a 10-year-old boy drowned in the Stillaguamish River at Arlington.
Rikki King: 425-339-3449; firstname.lastname@example.org