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King County officials urge water safety on lakes, rivers and Puget Sound

King County officials remind residents to be safe this summer while swimming in lakes, rivers and the Puget Sound. These girls cool off on a hot day at Lake Meridian. - Kent Reporter, file photo
King County officials remind residents to be safe this summer while swimming in lakes, rivers and the Puget Sound. These girls cool off on a hot day at Lake Meridian.
— image credit: Kent Reporter, file photo

With sunny skies and soaring temperatures expected in the days leading up to the long Independence Day weekend, King County officials are urging everyone to be extremely careful when heading out on the water.

“Rivers and lakes are beautiful, but they can be dangerous too, and it is important to use caution and wear a life vest when going out on the water,” said Christie True, Director of the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks, in a media release.

“Life jackets are to water like seat belts are to cars – standard safety equipment for the trip,” said Dr. David Fleming, Director and Health Officer for Public Health – Seattle & King County. “For safer swimming, take advantage of local life-guarded beaches or pools.”

A 2012 study of recreational river use along the Cedar River confirmed that water-related summer recreation is greatly determined by warm temperatures.

When temperatures are in the 70s, there are likely to be floaters on the river. Swimming, inner-tubing and related activities soar when temperatures top 80 or more.

Lakes, rivers and Puget Sound can all be extremely cold this time of year. Swift rivers fed by an above-average snow melt are still hovering below 50 degrees, while temperatures on Puget Sound and area lakes not much warmer.

For details about river safety, visit kingcounty.gov/riversafety.

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