UPDATE — Sequim teenager drowns while swimming in Lake Cushman

By Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News

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SHELTON, Mason County — An 18-year-old Sequim man drowned while swimming in Lake Cushman on Saturday.

Calvin White went missing in the designated swim area at Skokomish Park shortly after noon, Mason County Sheriff's Detective William Adam said.

His body was recovered in 12 feet of water roughly 30 yards from where he was last seen at about 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Adam said.

White was attending a large family reunion at the lake.

He was swimming with his younger sister when he went missing inside the buoyed-off swim area, Adam said.

Drugs or alcohol were not involved.

'Horrific accident'

“This was just a horrific accident,” Adam said.

Mason County Coroner Wes Stockwell identified White as the victim, the sheriff's office announced Sunday on its Twitter feed.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim's family and friends,” Adam posted on www.twitter.com/MasonCoSheriff.

White would have been a senior at Sequim High School this fall, Sequim School District officials said.

High School Principal Shawn Langston and Director of Communications Patsene Dashiell were not immediately available for comment Monday.

White's family phoned 9-1-1 at 12:35 p.m. Saturday to report that White had been missing for about 20 minutes, Adam said.

He was reportedly trying to swim toward an island in the lake.

White was initially reported to have been swimming alone.

“A sister was swimming with Calvin and lost sight of him,” Adam said while reviewing the report Monday, “but it was within the buoyed-off swimming area.”

Authorities from Mason, Grays Harbor and Thurston counties participated in the search.

Lake Cushman is nestled in the mountains of Olympic National Forest between the Hood Canal and the southeast corner of Olympic National Park.

Its cold temperatures can cause swimmers to cramp up, Adam said.

Adam reminded the public to use the buddy system when swimming.

Skokomish Park is a former state park that was purchased by the Skokomish tribe.

“It's a big, big swimming area that they have buoyed off,” Adam said.

Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5072, or at rollikainen@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: July 21. 2014 7:11PM
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