ENUMCLAW, Wash. - A 21-year-old man has died after trying to save his girlfriend who accidentally slipped and fell into the Green River Friday evening.
King County Sheriff's Office deputies and members of the Marine Rescue Dive Unit (MRDU) responded to a missing swimmer around 5 p.m. near the Green River Bridge in Enumclaw. Officials told Q13 News a couple was at the bridge when the man went to help his girlfriend who fell into the river.
People nearby were able to safely pull the young woman from the water. Search crews recovered his body around 7 p.m. Friday. King County Search and Rescue crews say this is the first drowing of the year and for it to be the last.
Officials say the man didn’t intend to be swimming in the water and officials say tragedies like this in that area have historically been too common from people walking along the river, not realizing how slippery the rocks are.
"Last year we had three in a matter of a week in the same location-the rocks get very slippery because of the spray and moss growing. So, unfortunately, what happens is people don’t really think about that and they slip, maybe they’re barefoot or wearing appropriate shoes and they slip in the water," said Sgt. Charlie Aker with the KCSO.
The water – under 40 degrees and moving quickly- can be extremely dangerous. Members of search of rescue teams say the water is so cold from the ice melt it puts the body into shock, making it difficult to get out.
Stay connected with Q13 News on all platforms: