Teen dies after leap into water at Whatcom Falls Park

A young man has died after being swept under a swift current in Whatcom Falls Park.

The swimmer, believed to be a teenager, jumped off the lower of two waterfalls near the playground area of the popular Bellingham park at 8:45 p.m. Monday, May 6, according to police. He didn’t surface. A city parks employee dove in to try to save him, while a Bellingham police officer entered the water to keep track of the parks employee in the churning water.

Bellingham firefighters arrived several minutes later. They helped to pull him out. Once he was on land, first-responders performed CPR. But he had been underwater for several minutes.

Doctors pronounced him dead at St. Joseph hospital.

Police have not yet released the victim’s name.

The rescue effort began about 10 minutes after sunset.