With temperatures inching higher, use caution when heading out for fun on the water.
Remember: warm air temperatures don't translate to warm water temperatures. In fact, unseasonably warm weather will accelerate the typical Cascade Range spring snowmelt, and rivers will be running swift with icy cold runoff for weeks to come.
Lakes and Puget Sound are also quite cold this time of year, and swimmers can suffer from cold-water shock after just a few minutes in the water.
King County officials are on high alert because 17 people died in preventable drownings in the county in 2015, according to preliminary statistics.
King County, Public Health – Seattle & King County, and the King County Sheriff's Office encourage kayakers, boaters, rafters, swimmers and other river users to check conditions and scout rivers thoroughly for hazards before entering the water.
For more information on water safety and drowning prevention, visit the King County Water Safety website.