Attempted rescue at Auburn lake leads to 1 dead, 1 hospitalized

Apr 6, 2023, 7:32 AM | Updated: 10:09 am


Fivemile lake (Photo from King County Parks)

(Photo from King County Parks)

Tragedy struck Auburn’s Fivemile Lake Wednesday evening when two men were stranded in the water leading to dire consequences.

King County Sheriff’s Sgt. M. Corbett Ford says they got an initial call just after 5 p.m., saying that there were two men in Fivemile Lake.

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A man had been fishing on his kayak when he fell into the lake. A man on the shore nearby saw the fall and went to try and rescue him from the frigid water.

Sergeant Corbett Ford says somebody called 911 when neither man resurfaced.

A boat came along and rescued the kayaker, but the man who went in to save him drowned.

Sgt. Ford says the kayaker, described as a man in his early 40s, was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center.

It took divers from the King County Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit and other fire agency rescue divers more than two hours to find the other victim, who was in his 30s.

The body of the man from the shore was pulled from the lake just after 7:15 pm.

It’ll be up to the King County Medical Examiner to determine his cause of death, but Sgt. Ford says there was nothing suspicious to report.

The King County Sheriff’s Office said if both men had been wearing life jackets, the tragedy could have been prevented.

“Lifejackets do save lives,” KCSO Sgt. Rich Barton told KIRO 7. “It’s actually required to be on the boat. Any body of water, any boat has to have a viable life jacket that fits, proper size, you don’t have to be wearing it, but in this environment, you should be wearing it.”

KIRO 7 contributed to this report

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Attempted rescue at Auburn lake leads to 1 dead, 1 hospitalized