Crew saves dummies from drowning in Federal Way

Residents along North Lake in eastern Federal Way were buzzing about a drowning this week.

This file photo shows South King Fire and Rescue's water rescue team training at Steel Lake.

Residents along North Lake in eastern Federal Way were buzzing about a drowning this week.

About 9 a.m. Wednesday, Jerry Graham and his son James spotted rescue workers pulling a body from the lake. They watched the action through binoculars from about 150 yards away.

The body, it turns out, was a dummy — one of four dummies used in a training drill by South King Fire and Rescue’s water rescue team.

Graham’s family has lived on North Lake, near the Weyerhaeuser campus, since 1927. No drownings have been reported in that time. Other members of the North Lake Improvement Club were initially shaken by what Graham witnessed.

“It was not a good feeling when I thought someone passed away,” Graham said, adding that a notification about the rescue team’s drill may have prevented the confusion. “I’m really, really happy to hear it was training.”

The water rescue team practices throughout the Federal Way area, including North Lake, Five Mile Lake, Steel Lake and the Redondo area.

“Now’s the time of year when we get more people on the lakes,” said assistant chief Gordie Olson, noting that the unit is a surface water rescue team, not a dive team.

And what about the four dummies pulled from North Lake?

“They all survived,” Olson said.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

South King Fire rescue swimmers search for a man underwater at Steel Lake Park on Aug. 8. Photo courtesy of South Sound Media Production
Man in critical condition after drowning at Steel Lake

Rescue swimmers pulled the man from the lake on Saturday evening, Aug. 8.

King County Parks closes Five Mile Lake, Lake Geneva parks as visitors fail to follow COVID-19 safety rules

Closure of the parks begins today, Aug. 7, until further notice, county says.

I-5 to close overnight in Federal Way Aug. 28-30

5-mile shutdown for new bridge construction at 70th Avenue East in Fife

Kent, Federal Way men arrested in drug trafficking bust

Reportedly part of 12-member group distributing fentanyl, heroin, meth and cocaine

Screenshot from Gov. Jay Inslee’s press conference on Aug. 5, 2020.
Inslee says schools in virus hot spots should stay closed

King County among high-risk counties; several school districts will have remote learning in the fall.

City seeking volunteers for commissions, boards

Applications will be reviewed Friday, Aug. 21.

King County Election headquarters in Renton on Aug. 4 for the primary election. Haley Ausbun/staff photo
Inslee and Culp lead governor race; incumbent Dems ahead for Congress | Statewide results

Early results for governor, state schools chief, attorney general and more.

Democrats dominate King County legislative races | Election results

Here are the latest results for King County legislative candidates in the… Continue reading

Courtesy of King County
Latest results for District 30 legislative races

Johnson and Walsh lead for pos. 1; Taylor and Moore lead for pos. 2; Basler will likely challenge Smith for Congress seat.

Most Read