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.

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

Robert Allen, 61, had never been homeless in his life before 2019, when he lost his housing. The chef has been trying to get back on his feet, and hopes to open a nonprofit and make hot sauce. File photo
King County implements 0.01% sales tax to raise money for housing the homeless

Officials plan to buy hotels, motels and nursing homes for conversion into permanent housing.

Social media site Parler returns after registering with Sammamish company

The right-wing social media website is not being hosted by Epik, but registered its domain.

Local restaurants have had to adapt to new rules during the COVID pandemic. Pictured: JP’s Tavern in Federal Way’s turkey club sandwich with a side of tater tots. File photo
State lawmakers propose bill to fast-track the governor’s reopening plan

Bill’s sponsors want to give legislature control over COVID-19 restrictions.

Fentanyl. (Courtesy photo)
King County reports record numbers of drug overdose deaths

Preliminary toxicology testing shows most overdose victims used multiple types of drugs.

Stock photo
FWPS rethinks approach of in-person learning for elementary students

Parents encouraged to respond to learning model survey sent by Federal Way Public Schools

Electric company accountant discovers embezzlement | Police blotter

Following is a sample from the Federal Way police log Jan. 5-12

A portion of State Route 99 will be closed this weekend as crews work on Sound Transit's Federal Way Link Extension.
Sound Transit to close portion of State Route 99 this weekend

All lanes between S. 204th Street and S. 208th Street closed Friday night to Sunday night; detours available.

Jay Inslee takes the oath of office for his third term as governor. (Governor Jay Inslee)
Governor Inslee: We are going forward toward a ‘new normal’

At the start of an historic third term, the governor is charting a course out of the pandemic.

Firefighter Ann Hoag and her dog, Baker, pictured during the 15-minute wait period after Ann received her second dose of the Pfizer vaccine on Jan. 11. Courtesy photo
South King Fire, Federal Way Police receive COVID-19 vaccines

South King Fire and Rescue Driver Engineer Ann Hoag is familiar with… Continue reading

Most Read