• Kayaker: I had my life jacket on, which definitely saved my life

    By: Alison Grande

    Updated:

    REDMOND, Wash. - A Renton man is alive after flipping his kayak in the dark on Lake Sammamish because he was wearing a life jacket, according to the King County Sheriff's Marine Rescue Dive Unit. 

    Scott Thompson, 27, took advantage of the beautiful weather last Tuesday and launched his kayak at Idylwood Park in Redmond. 

    Thompson, who works at Microsoft, says he put his kayak in the water around 6:45 p.m.  It was a sunny day and temperatures were in the mid-70s, but it was windy. Just as it was starting to get dark, Thompson said a wave caused the kayak to flip. He tried to get back in a few times but the water was cold, about 46 degrees, it was hard to breathe and hard to move.

    He was in the middle of the lake and started to swim to shore, but his limbs quickly got numb. A resident spotted the overturned kayak and called 911. The King County Sheriff Marine Rescue Dive Unit was on call and rushed to Vasa Park to get in their boat. They searched for the missing kayak and its owner in the dark.  

    Before they found the kayak or the owner, they spotted flashing lights on shore. It turns out a resident of a condo complex called 911 to report someone suspicious on the dock. Investigators say it was Thompson, moaning for help.

    At Overlake Hospital doctors found his body core temperature had dropped to 86 degrees. First responders say his body was shutting down and that he was lucky to be alive.  


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