Bellevue firefighters, Mercer Island police rescue kayaker from Lake Washington

The man was in the water for an hour before he was rescued.

  • Monday, December 18, 2017 11:23am
  • News

After a man overturned his kayak in Lake Washington Sunday night and was in the water for about an hour, he was rescued between Bellevue and Mercer Island, according to the city of Bellevue.

At approximately 10:20 p.m., a relative of the man reported to emergency dispatch that the kayaker had left the shores of Renton earlier, intending to fish and paddle to Enatai Beach Park in Bellevue. The cousin stated they were to rendezvous at Enatai, but the kayaker never arrived.

Bellevue firefighters and the Mercer Island police marine patrol boat were dispatched to the area where the caller believed the kayaker would be. Fire crews tried to spot the man from locations on the shore at Beaux Arts, Newport Shores and Enatai Beach and Newcastle Beach parks. The overturned kayaker actually had cell phone contact with rescuers at Enatai but his hypothermic state and inability to clearly communicate, coupled with relatively high winds and low visibility, hampered the rescue efforts.

After approximately 45 minutes, firefighters spotted the man’s cell phone light and guided the Mercer Island police patrol boat to the area. Mercer Island police pulled the man from the water and brought him to shore at Enatai beach, where Bellevue Medic 1 was standing by. The man was treated by paramedics and transported to a local emergency room for further treatment. The kayak was not recovered.

The Bellevue Fire Department provides fire and rescue services to Newcastle, Medina, Clyde Hill, Hunts Point, Yarrow Point and Beaux Arts, in addition to Bellevue.

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