Maple Valley pays special tribute to beach safety and Lake Wilderness Swim Beach lifeguards

(Featured in the photo (left to right): Dave Johnson, Parks Director, Mark Ratcliff, Recreation Manager, Aaron "Gabe" Marienau, Lifeguard, Chris Terril, HO Sports, Devin Deyerin, Lifeguard, Lucas Adams, Lifeguard, and Karsten Steinmeyer, Beach Manager.) Not pictured: Sierra Clemens
(Featured in the photo (left to right): Dave Johnson, Parks Director, Mark Ratcliff, Recreation Manager, Aaron “Gabe” Marienau, Lifeguard, Chris Terril, HO Sports, Devin Deyerin, Lifeguard, Lucas Adams, Lifeguard, and Karsten Steinmeyer, Beach Manager.) Not pictured: Sierra Clemens

The City of Maple Valley Council paid special tribute to beach safety and the Lake Wilderness Swim Beach lifeguards during the city’s annual Town Hall Meeting and Birthday Celebration at Lake Wilderness Lodge on Monday, August 27.

Each summer, Lake Wilderness Swim Beach attracts over 13,000 visitors, making it one of the most popular beaches in the area. According to the Center for Disease Control, from 2005-2014 there was an average of 3,536 fatal unintentional drownings (non-boat related) annually in the United States – about ten deaths per day. The City of Maple Valley helps to provide a safe swimming environment at the beach by having lifeguards on-duty daily during the summer hours of operation, the last weekend in June through the last weekend in August.

Council proudly recognized the overall contributions of the Lake Wilderness Swim Beach Lifeguard Program. Specific acknowledgements went to Sierra Clemens, Devan Deyerin, Aaron “Gabe” Merienau and Lucas Adams for their commitment, quick thinking and bravery. Their lifesaving efforts prevented swimmers from drowning on four separate occasions. Parks and Recreation Director, Dave Johnson, said, “Our lifeguards did a wonderful job keeping our visitors safe and providing a high level of service during a challenging summer, thanks in part to their hard work, training and ability to adapt to changing conditions. The community should be very proud of them.”

The City Council also thanked HO Sports and Chris Terril for donating over 150 life jackets over the past few years to the Parks and Recreation Department. The life jackets are available at the swim beach for visitors to use while they enjoy true freedom and their love for life on the water. Mayor Sean P. Kelly noted, “This is a wonderful example of how partnerships and getting involved helps to make Maple Valley great by helping our community be safe on the water.”

Lake Wilderness Swim Beach lifeguards are now off-duty for the season. Recruitment for lifeguards for summer 2019 will begin in spring 2019.

For more information about the Lake Wilderness Swim Beach Lifeguard Program, please contact Dave Johnson, Parks and Recreation Director, at (425) 432-9953 or dave.johnson@maplevalleywa.gov.