August 17—The Seattle Fire Department along with the Seattle Police Department and the U.S. Coast Guard conducted an extensive search of Lake Washington for a missing jet skier. The 21-year old Seattle man disappeared about 100 yards off shore from the 4400 block of Lake Washington Boulevard South.
Multiple 911 calls came in shortly before 6:30pm reporting a jet skier without a lifejacket struggling in the waters off Seward Park. An eyewitness on a boat spotted the struggling swimmer and threw a lifejacket to the 21 year-old. When the swimmer didn’t grab the lifejacket, the eyewitness dove in and unsuccessfully tried to pull him above the waterline. The eyewitness then swam back to his boat and called 911.
Rescue crews arrived to find the man’s personal watercraft floating in the water. The Seattle Fire Department Technical Rescue Dive Team along with Seattle Police Harbor Patrol divers conducted an underwater search for the 21 year-old. The SPD’s Harbor Patrol Boat and a Seattle Fire Department Boat searched on the water while the U.S. Coast Guard Helicopter used a thermal imaging device to search from the air.
After more than an hour of scouring the 18 foot deep waters, the search turned into a recovery operation. The Seattle Police Department took command of the operation. At 9:30pm the SPD and the U.S. Coast Guard called off the recovery operation for the night. SPD officers say they plan to resume the search Thursday morning.