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Kent man drowns in Lake Tapps

A 31-year-old Kent man drowned May 15 in Lake Tapps.

Peter Talaga was recovered by divers from East County Pierce Fire and Rescue and the Pierce County Sheriff's Office about 40 minutes after he was last seen, according to the Bonney Lake Courier-Herald.

Paramedics attempted to resuscitate Talaga, but were unsuccessful.

Talaga reportedly entered the water in the county park's swimming area to retrieve a plastic ball. He disappeared under the water at about 3 p.m. May 15.

Crews from the Valley Regional Fire Authority also responded.

The cause of death is still being investigated by the Pierce County Medical Examiner's Office, but spokeswoman Dina Sutherland of East Pierce Fire and Rescue said hypothermia was most likely a cause.

“Cold water removes heat from the body 25 times faster than cold air," Sutherland said. "As the body’s temperature drops, blood is shunted away from the arms and legs to protect the core and vital organs, making swimming or even treading water difficult.”

Sutherland warned swimmers to be cautious in the glacier-fed waters of Lake Tapps, even on warm days.

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