Third drowning in less than a year at Eagle Falls near Index

Third drowning in less than a year at Eagle Falls near Index

Officials from the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, Sky Valley Fire Department and search and rescue (SAR) teams rushed to the scene near Eagle Falls where a drowning accident was reported on July 4. A 24-year-old man was swimming in the water with another companion when both were pulled underwater by the strong current. The 24-year-old did not return to the surface.

Officials said a fire department swimmer jumped into the water and was able to rescue the struggling man. Rescue workers performed CPR for more than an hour before taking him to Providence Regional Medical Center, but he was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at the hospital.

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The man’s identity has not yet been released. The cause and manner of death are under investigation.

“The falls are beautiful and look very attractive,” Sky Valley Fire Chief Eric Andrews told the Everett Herald earlier this year. “But that’s also what makes them so dangerous.”

Eagle Falls is a popular but dangerous area. Signs warn visitors of the danger but have done little to prevent tragedies like the one on Independence Day.

Second incident raises questions about water safety

Just two days later, another adult male met a similar fate at Eagle Falls. A nearby civilian reacted quickly and rescued the struggling swimmer from the water using a flotation device.

Authorities stress the importance of water safety, especially in Snohomish County’s rushing streams and rivers. As water temperatures continue to remain cold, authorities recommend:

  • Wear a life jacket: Always wear a life jacket when near water. It can be a lifesaver in an emergency.
  • Be careful where you step: Tree trunks on the beach, river banks and rocks near the shore are slippery. Falls can lead to unconsciousness and make self-rescue impossible.
  • Carry a whistle: You can use a whistle to warn people nearby if you are in trouble.
  • Keep children close: Children under 14 are at significant risk of drowning. Keep them within reach.
  • Avoid diving: Serious neck injuries are common in open water. Avoid diving headfirst.

Bill Kaczaraba is a content editor at MyNorthwest. You can read his stories here. Follow Bill on X, formerly known as Twitter, Here and send him an email here.