Apparent Drowning in Lake Crescent

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Date: July 25, 2006

A 20-year old Port Angeles man died yesterday afternoon after an apparent drowning in the Devil’s Punchbowl on the north shore of Lake Crescent.


Jesse Sayre Thanem was reported missing at approximately 12:45 by a friend.  The two had been swimming together for about ten minutes when his friend suddenly could not find him.  After quickly searching the area, Thanem’s friend called 911. 


Several Olympic National Park rangers, including certified National Park Service SCUBA divers, responded and quickly located Thanem’s body in about 55 feet of water.  Resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful and Thanem was pronounced dead at the scene at approximately 1:25 p.m.


“We offer our heartfelt condolences to this young man’s family,” said Olympic National Park Superintendent Bill Laitner. “This tragedy underscores the dangers associated with swimming, especially in areas without lifeguards.  We urge caution for anyone swimming in park waters.”


Lake Crescent is located within Olympic National Park about 18 miles west of Port Angeles.

Last updated: February 28, 2015

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