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Soldier drowns during heatwave

Specialist Xavier T. Chambers was swimming at Shoreline Park at JBLM on Saturday during the heatwave when he drowned.
Credit: KING
Specialist Xavier T. Chambers from Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. — A soldier from Joint Base Lewis-McChord died Saturday from an apparent drowning.

Specialist Xavier T. Chambers was swimming at Shoreline Park at JBLM when the incident happened. Chambers was pronounced dead at Madigan Army Medical Center, according to Colonel Joey Sullinger, I Corps public affairs officer.

Chambers was assigned to the 593rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command.

In a statement released Monday, Lt. Col. Melinda Acuna, the 53rd Transportation Battalion commander, said Chambers was a valuable member of the Tusker family and was a promising soldier filled with "raw potential."

“As a member of our team, Xavier was motivated and charismatic," Acuna said. "His loss comes too soon; we will forever be grateful for the time and the impact he had on our formation.”

Chambers was at least the fourth person to drown during the western Washington heatwave this last weekend.

A 20-year-old man is missing and presumed dead after being swept away by the current at Green River Gorge on Saturday.

In Everett, a 4-year-old girl drowned at Silver Lake on Saturday.

In Lake Stevens, a 13-year-old boy died and a 12-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl were critically injured after they were found unresponsive in the water at Davies Park on Sunday.

The National Weather Service issued a Heat Advisory for most of western Washington this weekend as the region experienced the hottest temperatures so far this year. In Olympia, temperatures soared into the upper 80s to mid-90s on Saturday and Sunday, according to the weather service.

During hot weather, cold water in lakes and rivers can be especially dangerous for swimmers.

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