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Skykomish River Drowning


CONTACT: Lt. Rick Hawkins, Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office,, Media line: 425-249-6263

LOCATION OF INCIDENT, Wash. – Gold Bar – Skykomish River

At approximately 5:00 a.m. today, June 23, 2018, Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office Marine and Dive Units along with the Monroe Fire Department Swift Water Team responded to the Skykomish River near Gold Bar for a report of an overturned vessel occupied by two fisherman. One fisherman made it to shore and the other was reportedly still in the river.  Monroe Fire responded with their boat along with a Sheriff’s Office response by helicopter. 

The second fisherman was located in the river approximately ½ mile downstream from the Big Eddy Boat Launch and was deceased. 

The two fisherman reportedly launched their drift boat onto the Skykomish River just after 4:00 a.m. this morning, June 23, 2018, at the Big Eddy Boat Launch. They drifted approximately ½ mile downstream where the River’s current pinned their boat against a rock causing the boat to flip over and force both fisherman into the river. One of the fisherman was able to swim to shore and call for help. He was picked by the Monroe rescue boat where he was checked by aid personnel on scene.

The deceased fisherman is a 57 year-old male from the Sultan area.  River levels are high this time of year with water temperatures around 45 degrees. 

This is the fifth drowning incident in backcountry rivers this year:

-On June 5, a 35  year-old Sultan man went underwater while swimming in the Skykomish River at Big Eddy and his body was recovered the same day.

-On May 28, a 24 year-old Monroe man went missing at Eagle Falls and his body was recovered June 2.

-On April 24, a 30 year-old Bothell woman went into the water at Wallace Falls State Park and her body was recovered the same day.  

-On April 12, a 22 year-old Monroe woman went into the water at Cedar Ponds and her body was recovered on April 21.