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Updated with new information
Man drowns in Skykomish River near Gold Bar

June 24, 2018

Chronicle staff

(SNOHOMISH COUNTY, WA.) – The sad irony this day is heavy. On Friday the Snohomish County Sheriff’s office posted this on Facebook:

“On the first official weekend of summer, let's make sure you are prepared for the water. Checkout these WATER SAFETY TIPS! Always wear a life jacket…..”

It went on to list six other safety tips. The sheriff's office says a 54-year old man drowned in a popular fishing area Saturday on the Skykomish River not far from Gold Bar after the boat he was in overturned.

Reportedly, the man was not wearing a life jacket.

On Monday June 25 the Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office announced it had completed the examination and confirmed the identification of the man who drowned as Bryan E. Rose, 54, of Sultan, WA. His body was recovered June 23. The cause of death is drowning. The manner of death is classified as Accident.

Officials say Rose and a friend had gone out fishing in a boat in the early morning hours and were just a short distance downstream from Big Eddy, a popular weekend destination for families in the summer.

The boat flipped over after it got stuck up against a rock in the fast moving current and both men went into the frigid water. The friend was able to swim to shore and safety. Rose was unable to do the same and drowned.

Second drowning this month in same area of the river

On June 6th of this month the Sky Valley Chronicle wrote this:

“Same river, second body in nine days. Same area of river, second body in six months. To say the mighty Skykomish River is a dangerous piece of business would be not be doing justice to the word dangerous.

If you end up in the Skykomish this time of year at the right spots, your odds of survival are iffy at best. And it does not matter how strong a swimmer you think you are.

The Snohomish County Sheriff's Office and Snohomish County Fire Districts 26 and 7 recovered the body of a man from the Skykomish, downstream from an area of the river called Big Eddy. The Big Eddy is a popular picnic area/swimming hole during the blazing hot days of summer. It’s located just up the road from Gold Bar and off State Route 2.

The sheriff’s office says the man is believed to have been a transient from the Gold Bar/Sultan area and was in his 30's.

“Earlier in the day, patrol responded to several 911 calls from witnesses reporting a man acting erratically and trespassing in the area,” said Shari Ireton, Director of Communications for the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office. “When patrol units arrived, the man jumped into the back of one of the patrol pickups twice. After talking with man and assessing that he was not a threat to others, the man left the area around 2 p.m.”

Then later, about 4:30 pm some people at the Big Eddy site called 911 to report that they’d seen the same man jumping into the water and drifting downstream, “appearing to be in distress.”

Patrol, SAR (search and rescue) divers as well as local fire agencies arrived and the Sheriff's Office helicopter, SnoHAWK1, flew overhead…the body of the man was located around 5:30 pm downstream from Big Eddy and was recovered from the river.”

At that time in early June the sheriff’s office said the man’s death was the fourth drowning incident in back country rivers near waterfalls this year. And it was the second drowning death on the Skykomish in nine days. On May 28th, a 24 year-old Monroe man went missing at Eagle Falls on the river and his body was recovered June 2.

On April 24th, a 30 year-old Bothell woman went into the water at Wallace Falls State Park, also in the same general area in the county, and her body was recovered the same day. On April 12th, a 22 year-old Monroe woman went into the water at Cedar Ponds, located in the woods near Sultan and her body was recovered on April 21st.


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