INDEX — A young man drowned Tuesday afternoon while he was swimming at Eagle Falls east of Index.
He was with friends and family around 2 p.m. when he attempted to swim out to a rope swing and was swept away by the river, said Sky Valley Fire Chief Eric Andrews.
Another man at the swimming hole went in after and eventually caught up. He grabbed the young man and pulled him into shallower waters, holding on until medics arrived, Andrews said.
Due to issues getting cellphone reception, Andrews said it could have been at least 45 minutes before medics got to the scene to attempt life saving measures.
By then, the young man had stopped breathing. Attempts to resuscitate him failed. His identification, age and cause and manner of death, will be provided by the Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office.
The second man who went in after did not need to go to a hospital, Andrews said.
“That was pretty heroic of him to do that,” Andrews said. “… Holding onto him and waiting for help had to be pretty frightening for him and draining of energy. … Not many people would do that.”
While the weather has gotten warmer in recent days, Andrews said rivers are still running high and cold. He urged people not to go swimming. If someone feels a need to, though, he encouraged them to bring flotation devices. Fire stations, including those with Sky Valley Fire, typically have programs to loan them out for a day.