The Enumclaw Fire Department posted this picture of the Green River on Saturday in a Facebook post about the recovery of a swimmer who died Friday while trying to rescue his girlfriend who had also gone in the water.

The Enumclaw Fire Department posted this picture of the Green River on Saturday in a Facebook post about the recovery of a swimmer who died Friday while trying to rescue his girlfriend who had also gone in the water.

Man dies after helping rescue girlfriend at the Green River on Friday

The 21-year-old victim’s cause of death has not yet been confirmed.

A 21-year-old man died Friday evening near the Green River Gorge Bridge while helping his girlfriend reach shore, the King County Sheriff’s Office has reported.

The Sheriff’s Office was alerted around 3:30 p.m. that day that the man had gone missing while swimming near the bridge. Deputies and searchers had recovered his body by about 5:20 p.m., sheriff’s office spokesperson Sgt. Tim Meyer said.

The man’s girlfriend survived and was picked up by rescuers.

The Sheriff’s Office does not release the names or causes and manner of death of cases like these, Meyer said, and he deferred those questions to the King County Medical Examiner, which had not released that information by press time Monday.

Despite the rising temperatures and sunshine of spring, lakes and rivers remain extraordinarily cold this time of year and can sap swimmer’s energy rapidly.

“Air temperature and water temperature are not the same,” Meyer said. “And in our swift rivers like this, they’re coming from the mountain, from snowmelt. They’re going to be cold. It’s easy to think that warm air is going to mean warm water, and that’s not the case.”

Even a shallow stretch of river can be very hazardous, Meyer said, since they hide dangers like rocks, eddying water, and tree branches that can snag swimmers. In many cases, a shallow river can be more dangerous than a lake, Meyer said.

“Rivers are NOT SAFE at this time of year! They run high and swift even for the best swimmers,” the Enumclaw Fire Department said in a Facebook post Saturday in regards to the man’s death.

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 500 words or less.

More in News

Photo courtesy of King County
King County announces purchase agreement of Federal Way hotel

Hotel and two additional Seattle properties to become part of county’s Health Through Housing homelessness program.

File photo
Brief history of rats in the Puget Sound region – and the problem they present

Local exterminator noticed big change in rats over the past 40 years.

Sponsor of the motion to establish guidelines for the removal of encampments, Councilmember Reagan Dunn (courtesy of King County Council)
King County Council discusses policy for removal of homeless encampments

Still unclear what the standards will be, who will enforce it, and how jurisdictions will interact.

Mt. Rainier
Input sought regarding visitor use on Mount Rainier’s south side

Public can weigh in as National Park Service ponders visitor use at Nisqually-to-Paradise corridor.

The Enumclaw Youth Center, operated by the Y Social Impact Center in Enumclaw
Donations sought for kids heading back to school

Annual effort has started to provide back-to-school supplies to kids from low-income families.

Police lights
Enumclaw, Black Diamond police blotter | July 12 – July 22 |

DUIs, after-hours golfing and a found Labrador retriever

Andrew Bruce, instructor for Green River College's upcoming drone program, demonstrates the capabilities of one of his racing drones using a smartphone app outside the Enumclaw Green River campus. Photo by Alex Bruell
Drone racing, ethical hacking and more: Green River instructors want to train “cutting edge” students

Green River College in Enumclaw will offer new drone aviation, cybersecurity programs next year

Enumclaw’s Calvary Presbyterian Church
Church sets dates for VBS, invites all to ‘water walk’

Enumclaw’s Calvary Presbyterian Church sets dates for Vacation Bible School, community “water walk.”

A University of Washington-themed birdhouse, complete with a husky, is one of several birdhouses available at Arts Alive’s silent auction.
Arts Alive holding silent auction for student scholarships

Bids for colorful birdhouses must be submitted by Aug. 9

Most Read