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Two teens rescued at Coulon Park on Monday
Two teenagers were pulled from Lake Washington on Monday evening after a near-drowning experience in a non-swimming area of Gene Coulon Beach Park.
One of the teens was rescued by a City of Renton lifeguard who happened to be running past the area during training while the second was revived by Renton Firefighters after being pulled “lifeless” from the water.
According to Renton Fire Chief Mark Peterson, the fire department was called to the park at around 7:30 p.m. Monday.
Two teenagers were swimming in a non-supervised, non-swimming area of Coulon Park north of Ivar’s on Monday when one got into trouble. The second teen dove into help and also found himself in trouble.
Peterson said a couple of citizens also tried to help but could not when three City of Renton lifeguards on their evening physical training happened by the scene.
“They just happened to be running by and noticed the commotion,” Peterson said of the lifeguards.
A lifeguard identified by the Renton School District as 2012 Hazen graduate Shane Thompson dove into help, pulling one teenager from the water. Peterson said the teen was conscious when rescued and transported to a local hospital, though the second teen could not be located.
The Renton dive unit responded to the scene and the second boy was located in 25 to 30 feet of water and was pulled to the surface where emergency personnel revived him using CPR.
“He was lifeless when they pulled him out of the water,” Peterson said.
Firefighters were able to re-establish a heart rate and blood pressure. The boy was transported to Harborview Hospital in Seattle, where according to the Renton School District Facebook page, he remained in critical condition.
Peterson said the firefighters who responded to the scene are part of a new Rescue Swimmer program, which began this year in Renton. Eleven firefighters only recently completed the training, which saves time by send divers into the water with fins, a mask and snorkel instead of full dive gear.
Peterson cautioned citizens to only swim in supervised areas and warned that despite warm temperatures and sunshine, the waters in the area are still very cold this early in the season and can be dangerous even for experienced swimmers.
Cold water can quickly cause hypothermia and cramping and can cause muscles to lock up, sinking even those who know how to handle themselves in water.
Peterson also warned that rivers are still “extremely fast” due to continuing snowmelt in the mountains and can be very dangerous.
“Swim in designated swim areas,” Peterson said.