The waters of Lake Tapps can be deceptive. Extremely cold water at certain depths that can be deadly with enough force to paralyze even expert swimmers, said East Pierce Fire and Resuce Lt. Matt Jewitt. In an average year, at least two people drown on Lake Tapps.
To rescue swimmers, East Pierce divers perform complicated rescues among tree stumps, under docks and in murky waters with a systemized approach from land and sea. Even with advanced technology, all divers can sense is what's in directly in front of them, so it takes a coordinated canvas of the area to find someone who has gone under the water.
East Pierce has never had to rescue someone wearing a life jacket, said Jewitt. Free life jackets are available at both the North Pierce County and Allan Yorke Parks.
If you see someone in trouble on the lake? Keep them in your sight and call 911, but it is unwise to attempt to rescue them yourself.