Published on February 17th, 2016 | by The Kitsap Scene0
Eighteen-Year-Old Seabeck Man Drowns in Central Kitsap Creek
An 18-year-old man from Seabeck drowned in a Central Kitsap creek yesterday afternoon.
The man was hiking with three friends when he fell into Big Beef Creek, according to a press release from Kitsap County.
The Kitsap County Coroner’s Office identified the man as Lucas Earl Weaver, 18, from Seabeck.
The press release describes what happened like this:
The initial dispatch of the incident was reported just before noon.
Witnesses reported that the victim slipped on partially submerged rocks while attempting to cross Big Beef Creek. He was swept downstream more than a mile and a half from the spillway that empties water out of Lake William Symington into Big Beef Creek in Central Kitsap.
Lake Symington is approximately five miles southwest of Silverdale, near Seabeck.
Lucas’ friends tried to save him by grabbing his backpack, but it slipped off.
Big Beef Creek was a “torrent of deep storm water from the lake and from smaller draining streams.” Lucas was swept downstream to a waterfall and was trapped.
Despite efforts to help keep Lucas above water, the fishing waders Lucas was wearing quickly filled, “acting like an anchor” that pulled him under the water.
A sheriff’s detective happened to be in the area and arrived at the scene within two minutes of the initial radio dispatch, and directed additional responders from the sheriff’s office and fire department.
“Mobile phone communications difficulties, steep and muddy terrain, and exact position location details hampered and delayed the response effort,” the release states.
Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue launched a recovery effort, with assistance from Bainbridge Island Fire Department, Navy Region Northwest Fire and Emergency Services, and Mason County Fire District 2.
Lucas was recovered by fire technical rescue crews at approximately 2:15 p.m.
“The same elements of nature that obstructed initial response and search actions also hindered fire rescue efforts,” the release states. “Fire emergency vehicles could not gain access to the creek. All equipment was carried in and out by rescuers. On the return climb out of the ravine they brought Lucas with them.”
An autopsy will be scheduled to be performed by the county’s forensic pathologist. The Kitsap County Coroner will make a determination as to the cause and manner of death.
The sheriff’s office is still investigating the incident.