A sad day.
Delta Air Lines pilot Capt. Dan B. (name withheld) reportedly drowned in Lake Washington on Thursday during a windstorm. Dan was hired in January, 1990, and had been most recently based in Salt Lake City.
1 killed, 1 hurt in windstorm
By Erik Lacitis
Seattle Times staff reporter
A 44-year-old kite surfer died Thursday afternoon on Lake Washington amid a brief but powerful windstorm that also knocked a tree onto a woman in Kent as it swept through the Puget Sound region.
The Seattle man, whose name was not released, was the only reported death as steady winds hit 40 mph, with gusts in the mid-50s. Tens of thousands of people also lost power for a time in the storm, which toppled trees and blew debris onto roadways, cars and houses.
The man was reported facedown in the lake at 5:27 p.m., about a half-mile west of the Kirkland Marina Park, said Jeff Kappel, a Seattle police spokesman.
"He was apparently unresponsive," Kappel said. "There were friends out there along with him, and they're the ones that called it in."
A spokeswoman for Harborview Medical Center in Seattle confirmed the death but would not release any details.
Jon LaFollett, 44, of Kirkland, was another kite surfer who had been in the lake. He did not see the accident and did not know the victim.
He said the wind Thursday was "a good southerly storm," which made for "not an easy kiting day," but he was able to make jumps off the water that reached 50 feet.
more news clips, Seattle PI:
As the wind whipped, sometimes over 50 mph, emergency crews responded to a flood of calls. The highest reported gust was 62 mph in Spanaway, and the wind forced the closure of the Hood Canal Bridge for nearly three hours, starting at 4:30 p.m. One of the most serious emergency calls came at 5:30 p.m. from a Lake Washington kite boarder who watched as another boarder was dragged north by the gusting wind. A Seattle police patrol boat found the 44-year-old boarder floating face down about half a mile from the Kirkland marina, Officer Jeff Kappel said. When rescuers pulled the Seattle man from the water he was unresponsive and not breathing. Police aboard the Harbor Patrol boat performed CPR on the man, as did medics who rushed him to Harborview Medical Center. Fire Department spokeswoman Helen Fitzpatrick said the man did not regain consciousness on the trip to the hospital. Stowing his gear at Magnuson Park just before sundown, kite boarder Larry Breuer said the thoughts and prayers of the rest of the boarders were with the victim and his family. Breuer, who's been in the sport nearly a year, was one of a number of boarders out on Lake Washington as the wind picked up Thursday afternoon. He said sustained wind speeds were not particularly severe, but that some gusts might have topped 40 mph. "When you're out there, you're one with the environment," Breuer said.