South Kitsap boy drowns in Horseshoe Lake

A 4-year-old South Kitsap boy died Monday evening after being found floating in a local lake, the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office reported.

Spokesman Deputy Scott Wilson said Hunter N. Black was discovered underwater by two men fishing on Horseshoe Lake at around 6:45 p.m.

“Approximately one hour earlier, the two anglers saw the little boy splashing with two dogs,” Wilson said, explaining that after spotting the victim the first time, the men — a 29-year-old Poulsbo man and a 21-year-old Fife man — left the area to fish the rest of the lake. “At the time, they didn’t really think anything of it.”

However, he said when the men returned to the area again about an hour later, they saw only the dogs swimming.

“When they looked into the water, which was only about waist deep, they saw the little boy down there, so they jumped into the water,” Wilson said, explaining that while one man pulled out the boy, the other called 911 on his cell phone.

“The one with the phone also ran into the closest house,” he said, adding that the property was a waterfront home the boy was swimming only 10 feet from, which turned out to be his residence. “Family members were inside, including the boy’s mother and uncle, and one of them started CPR on the victim.”

Wilson said the 911 call was made at 6:48 p.m., and South Kitsap Fire and Rescue crews arrived six minutes later at 6:54 p.m. Three minutes later, deputies from his office arrived on-scene.

Shortly thereafter, he said, the boy was transported to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital in Tacoma with his mother riding in the ambulance. At 7:34 p.m., Wilson said the boy was pronounced dead.

“The medics did everything they possibly could — everybody did,” he said.

Wilson said it was not known how long the boy had been under water before he was discovered, or why there was apparently no adult supervising him at the time.

“Right now, we are treating this as accidental,” Wilson said, adding that his office’s investigation was ongoing. “We will prepare the report and forward it to the prosecutor’s office, as we would with any other incident.”

Wilson said this tragedy illustrates why young children should be supervised at all times.

“Little kids get out of the house, and they have no comprehension of danger,” he said. “You can never be too cautious in situations like this, and adults should always be present — and you need eyes in the back of your head.”

Wilson said Monday’s incident also marked the fifth death in Kitsap County waters within the past week.

“This has not been a typical summer at all,” he said, explaining that having a man die in Island Lake Park, a jet ski accident that killed a woman — and now her husband as of Wednesday night — and someone jump off the Mannette Bridge in the past seven days was “an aberration.

“And they’re all so different,” he said. “Most of them are accidental, and there is no common factor amongst them.”

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