GOLD BAR — A Monroe man was rescued from the Skykomish River Tuesday evening and taken to Evergreen Hospital in critical condition.
The 27-year-old was caught in rough water while kayaking about four miles east of Gold Bar. Two other kayakers helped pull him out of the river after the current carried him downstream and out of the more dangerous area.
The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office and Fire District 26 in Gold Bar responded to the 911 call around 7 p.m. The other kayakers were performing CPR on the man.
So far this year, at least five people have drowned on backcountry waterways, according to the Sheriff’s Office. They include a 54-year-old Sultan man who was fishing near Big Eddy; a 35-year-old Sultan man who also went into the water at Big Eddy; a 24-year-old Monroe man whose body was found after he went missing from Eagle Falls; a 30-year-old Bothell woman who drowned near Wallace Falls State Park; and a 22-year-old Monroe woman whose body was found at Cedar Ponds Lake.
Rivers are cold and currents are strong. People should wear life jackets while on or near water. Kayakers and others on the river should be prepared with a helmet and be trained to navigate unpredictable and swift water. Even strong swimmers should not swim near waterfalls, where currents are especially strong and there are hidden snags and drop-offs.