Cold water shock danger in record-breaking heat

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

KIRKLAND, Wash. – This record-breaking heat has everyone looking for a way to cool, but not so fast. Jumping in one of our many waterways might send you into shock or worse hyperthermia. King County Sheriff’s Office sends his warning tonight on how to enjoy warmth without ending up in danger.

“This water you jump into it, it’s going to be cold.  It’s going to be that cold, take your breath away kind of cold and if you’re not prepared for that you can get yourself into a lot of trouble,” said King County Sheriff’s Office Marine Rescue Dive Unit Sgt. Mark Rorvik.

That trouble comes from what is called ‘cold water shock.’

“Someone’s fallen in and they’ve had an involuntary reflex and they’ve sucked water into their lungs and now it’s an active drowning situation,” said King Co. Sheriff Benjamin Callahan.

That’s why he urges everyone to wear a life jacket at all times.

And if you’re planning on kayaking or paddle boarding…

“If something goes wrong, if this gets wavy and a boat comes along and tosses you into the water and you hit your head that could become a life-threatening situation very quickly,” said Callahan.

Just last weekend, a man died in after falling off a rocky ledge into the Skykomish River.  Warm temperatures don’t always mean warm water.

“It’s quite a shock as soon as you hit the water especially if you dive in,” said boater Brian Robertson.

So Brian Robertson plans to take it easy this weekend. If something goes wrong…

“My wife has a nursing background and we have a defibrillator on board we’ve got oxygen an EpiPen and a massive first aid kit that’s available,” said Robertson.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.