Swimming Safety Tips

Know the Water

  • Lake Tapps is fed with glacial water from Mount Rainier, so hypothermia risk exists. Lake Tapps water is deceptively COLD averaging only 50 degrees in the summer. This is not the same as air temperature. 
  • Swimming in a glacier-fed lake is not the same as swimming in a heated pool. 
  • The bottom of the lake is uneven with sudden drop-offs, dead trees and other hazards.
  • Keep away from boats by staying inside the buoy line. Never swim alone. 
  • No lifeguards are on duty.

Supervise Children Around the Water

Children are the most vulnerable to cold water and fall victim to cold shock and hypothermia very quickly.

  • Nothing replaces adult supervision. Assign an adult to watch children at all times.
  • When in the water, keep young children within arm's reach.
  • You are NEVER too old for a LIFE JACKET.  Set the example.

Wear a Life Jacket

  • Be aware that cold water can kill, even on hot summer days. Protect from the shock of cold water by always wearing a life jacket or personal floating device!
  • Wear a life jacket, stay close to shore, and rest if you are cold or tired.
  • Know your limits. Regardless of a swimmer's abilities, coldness can cause trouble for anyone. Prevent tragedy by wearing a life vest to stay warmer and above water.  
  • Need a life jacket? Use the self-serve kiosk available on the peninsula, and read the jack label to ensure proper fit. 

Learn More Cold Water Safety Tips: