As the weather gets warmer, people are heading out to the shores of Washington to enjoy a day on the water. A warm spring day, however, does not always mean that conditions are safe. Already this year, there have been several scary incidents in Washington. Three near-drownings occurred on Sat., May 11 — one each in Lake Washington, Green River and Panther Lake. The Washington State Department of Health, in a news release, warned residents that late-spring conditions increase the risk of drowning.
Icy Temperatures and High Water Levels Can Be Deadly
Although the days are warmer, the water has not yet warmed up. Attempting to swim, or falling into the water from a boat, can quickly become a life-threatening situation for even the strongest swimmers. Icy water can cause cold-water shock – a condition that immobilizes the body and eventually leads to hypothermia.
These types of drownings often occur without the splashing and shouting associated with a swimmer in distress. The victim instead silently slips out of sight, underwater and drowns.
With the rise in temperature that tempts people onto the water, the snow in the mountains melts. Snow melt may create high, fast-flowing water in rivers, making sports such as canoeing and rafting especially dangerous.
Approximately 100 drowning deaths occur in Washington every year. These terrible events can occur in lakes, rivers, the ocean and even in backyard swimming pools. According to the Department of Health, teens – especially boys – are at the highest risk due to risky behaviors. This is particularly evident in the spring months because children and teens are eager to get in the water and participate in water activities.
The best way to protect against drowning and near-drowning is to follow a few basic safety guidelines:
- Never swim alone.
- Choose a supervised area.
- Go somewhere with clear water.
- Check river levels and conditions before setting out.
- Have an emergency plan.
- When boating, wear a life jacket.
- Ensure that pools are fenced and locked.
Injuries from Drowning and Near-drowning
Death from drowning is a tragic ordeal. Near-drowning, too, may cause serious injury including:
Drowning or near-drowning accidents are too often caused by the negligence of one or multiple parties. When pools lack proper safety features or are poorly supervised, children can become the victims of drowning. Boating accidents may be caused by negligent operators who do not follow proper boating laws or do not look out for swimmers. These accidents can cause drowning or near-drowning.
If you or a loved one was injured in a near-drowning, or your loved one drowned, due to a pool or boating incident, please contact us immediately. Our attorneys are dedicated to finding out who was responsible for your suffering. You may be eligible for compensation. Please contact the Perey Law Group for your free, no-obligation consultation.