By Eric Stevick
SILVER LAKE — Rescuers were able to save one swimmer Sunday but not his companion at a Silver Lake beach.
City of Everett officials on Sunday night were investigating the incident. The identities, ages and hometowns of the men were not released.
"We have two pretty clearly conflicting reports from witnesses," said Lori Cummings, recreation superintendent for the Everett Parks Department.
Based on initial reports, officials believe the two men were either swimming toward a swim dock or had just jumped off the dock, which is about 25 yards offshore and in roughly 20 feet of water.
Susan Francisco, assistant parks director, said investigators don’t know what caused the men to go under at the same time, shortly before 4:30 p.m.
"It’s very unusual," she said.
Lifeguards reached the man who was saved in about one to two minutes without using diving gear, officials said. He was listed in satisfactory condition at Providence Everett Medical Center Sunday night.
"The one under for a minute or two was regaining consciousness on the way to the hospital," said Ed Oas, battalion chief for the Everett Fire Department.
The second swimmer was harder to locate.
Divers searched for him, finding him a few minutes later.
They tried several lifesaving strategies, including an automated external defibrillator, which shocks the heart to return it to normal rhythm, that is kept at the beach at Silver Lake.
Officials said they do not believe a language barrier slowed the rescue, although it did make it difficult to sort out facts immediately afterward. The men and their friends were Hispanic, but other witnesses also noticed them go under water and alerted lifeguards, officials said.
James Pinto of Everett was at the beach with his daughter, Elora, a second-grader at Madison Elementary School.
Pinto quickly realized a swimmer was in trouble.
"The siren went off real loud like an air raid siren," he said.
You can call Herald Writer Eric Stevick at 425-339-3446
or send e-mail to email@example.com.