26-year-old man drowns in Renton beach, body found by friends

Jul 9, 2024, 7:20 AM | Updated: 3:07 pm

renton drowns...

Pier over Lake Washington at the Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park in Renton. (Photo courtesy of KIRO 7)

(Photo courtesy of KIRO 7)

Police are investigating an overnight drowning at Renton’s Gene Coulon Beach after he allegedly never came home from swimming.

The body of the victim — a 26-year-old man — was first discovered by a group of his friends in Lake Washington just after 1:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Police told KIRO Newsradio the victim was at the park earlier yesterday. When no one heard from him for several hours, the group of friends went out with flashlights looking for him.

Seattle Fire: Woman still missing after falling off boat into Lake Washington Monday night

“(The) 26-year-old was at the park earlier in the day swimming. He reportedly had been posting on social media and when he didn’t return home, that’s when the friends became concerned and called police,” Renton Police spokesperson Meeghan Black told KIRO Newsradio.

They searched the water off the pier of the beach. Once he was located, police was contacted and a fire crew dive team was sent to the scene to recover the body. He was ruled dead at the scene.

There are no signs of foul play, according to Black. Initial reports indicate this drowning was not suspicious.

“Investigators are still looking into it,” Black said. “We’re going to comb through social media and talk to friends and hopefully get to the bottom of what happened. At this point though, it really does seem like just a very tragic accident.”

Police remind everyone planning to cool off in our region’s lakes and rivers to swim with a friend and to avoid “cold water shock.” Water temperatures in Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish are approximately in the mid-50s while the Puget Sound just barely hovers above 50 degrees. Jumping into such cold water during days that reach 80-90 degrees can cause “cold water shock.”

More on cold water shock: Cold water remains dangerous despite Seattle heatwave

“For the last four years, we’ve had elevated drowning numbers in King County at about 30 per year,” Tony Gomez, King County Public Health’s violence and injury prevention program manager, told The South Seattle Emerald. “That’s a problematic number of preventable drowning deaths. In the four years prior, we were averaging 18 drowning deaths per year, so that 60% or so increase continues to be a concern.”

This is a developing story, check back for updates

Contributing: Sam Campbell, KIRO Newsradio

Frank Sumrall is a content editor at MyNorthwest. You can read his stories here and you can email him here.

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