Arlington’s Water Rescue Team gears up for their training session at the Stillaguamish River in July 2018. From left,EMT Chris Peterson, Paramedic Drew Shannon, EMT Sam Johnston, Captain Kirk Normand and Paramedic Tom Jackson.


With summer just around the corner, many people in the area are looking forward to cooling down and having some fun in the water. One thing to remember is that with all of the fun that the water can bring, there are also a lot of dangers that come along with it.

“Every year we go on a number of calls to the river and other lakes, and every year we have a near drowning or a drowning. Those are not calls that we want to go on and we are trying to provide everyone with information in order to stay safe,” said Kristin Banfield, Communications Manager for the city of Arlington.

With the Stillaguamish River being a popular spot for residents to gather during these hot months, the city of Arlington and the Arlington Fire Department remind you that the best way to stay safe is to stay out of the river.   However, if you insist on entering the river or any open body of water there are a few tips that you should follow.

Always have supervision. If anything goes wrong you should always have someone there to make a call for help, and if you are a child you should have adult supervision as well. 

Know your capabilities. No matter what others around you are doing, you should know where your strengths and weaknesses are when it comes to the water.

“It’s not just kids that we have to rescue out on the water,” said Ms. Banfield, “Anyone who isn’t being careful can get into a dangerous situation.”

Know the water. Whether it be the temperature, depth, under water currents or a number of other factors, you should know what you are getting into before you dive in.

“Cold water can kill, even on hot summer days” said Banfield.

Wear a life jacket. Finally, the most important tip is to always wear a life jacket. Whether you are swimming, floating or boating, the best thing you can do to stay safe is to wear a life jacket at all times. If you do not own a life jacket there are options around Snohomish County where you can check out one. If you want more information on the Life Jacket Loan Program you can find it at https://snohomishcountywa.gov/321/Life-Jacket-Cabinets.

If you’re looking for safer ways for your family to have fun in the water the city of Arlington now offers the Splash Pad at Haller Park. From now until Labor Day the Splash Pad will be open everyday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information on the rules and availability you can check out https://www.arlingtonwa.gov/614/Splash-Pad-at-Haller-Park or call 360.403.3451.

If you’re looking for more resources on water safety you can visit the city of Arlington’s website at https://www.arlingtonwa.gov/616/Water-Safety. You can also visit the Seattle Children’s website at https://www.seattlechildrens.org/health-safety/keeping-kids-healthy/prevention/drowning-prevention/parents-children-teens/ where they have been conducting water safety research for over four decades.


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