Bottom-line police work


Herald Writer

EVERETT – Somehow a moose got loose.

But at least there are no creatures from the Black Lagoon lurking in Silver Lake.

"There are no Sasquatches or Loch Ness monsters in there," said Wally Friesen, lead diver with the Everett Police Department dive team.

About a dozen scuba divers, most from Everett and Monroe police departments, slithered to the bottom of Silver Lake during a training exercise Friday and retrieved plenty of garbage as part of a cleanup to make the lake safer.

Golf balls, Band-Aids and beer cans surfaced. And divers snatched up paddles, a chunk of asphalt and a paddle boat rudder. One diver found a 12-inch plastic moose.

Hauling up the junk makes the small lake safer for everyone, said Karen Taylor, recreation superintendent for the city’s parks department.

Chances are, it’s not healthy for a swimmer diving off a dock to hit a shopping cart stuck at the bottom of the lake, she said. On warm summer days, as many as 2,000 people may stop by the park, and many go for a swim, Taylor said.

The cleanup at Silver Lake was a first for the police divers. Friesen came up with the idea after a scare with his diving partner when police tried to recover the body of a drowning victim at the lake in December 1998.

Friesen said his partner, who is no longer with the department, became entangled in some fishing line that was caught on a 15-pound anchor at the bottom of the lake.

Friesen said he knew something was wrong when his partner came to the surface and then went back down. They were able to break him free, Friesen said.

"That’s when I got to thinking ‘what’s down there (at the lake bottom)?’ " he said. "Visibility in Silver Lake can be tricky. We call it Braille diving."

Safety measures are also taken daily during the swim season. Silver Lake beach lifeguards, who are also certified divers, scan the underwater swimming area twice a day.

"A lot of it is for safety, but you never know if someone may have been swimming overnight," Taylor said.

One year, during a morning dive, a drowning victim’s body was found.

Last year the Everett dive team was called out 11 times. Divers recovered four bodies from the Snohomish River, Silver Lake and Port Gardner Bay. Friesen, who has been diving since 1992, said the dive team has also recovered a stolen car or two that has been rolled into the lake. All seven police divers also work as detectives, patrol officers or harbor patrol.

Over the years, lifeguard divers have found shopping carts, bicycles and fishing gear.

"Our main focus is on the swimmers’ area," Taylor said, adding that Friday’s divers scanned a larger and deeper area of the lake. "We don’t go in the outer perimeter."

You can call Herald Writer Kate Reardon at 425-339-3455or send e-mail to

Talk to us

More in Local News

Members of South County Fire practice onboarding and offboarding a hovering Huey helicopter during an interagency disaster response training exercise at Arlington Municipal Airport on Tuesday, June 6, 2023, in Arlington, Washington. The crews learned about and practiced safe entry and exit protocols with crew from Snohomish County Volunteer Search and Rescue before begin given a chance to do a live training. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Snohomish, King counties train together for region’s next disaster

Dozens of agencies worked with aviators Tuesday to coordinate a response to a simulated earthquake or tsunami.

Police stand along Linden Street next to orange cones marking pullet casings in a crime scene of a police involved shooting on Friday, May 19, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Lake Stevens man identified in Everett manhunt, deadly police shooting

Travis Hammons, 34, was killed by officers following a search for an armed wanted man in a north Everett neighborhood.

Funko mascots Freddy Funko roll past on a conveyor belt in the Pop! Factory of the company's new flagship store on Aug. 18, 2017.  (Dan Bates / The Herald)
Lawsuit: Funko misled investors about Arizona move

A shareholder claims Funko’s decision to relocate its distribution center from Everett to Arizona was “disastrous.”

1 stabbed at apartment in Lynnwood

The man, 26, was taken to an Everett hospital with “serious injuries.”

A firefighting helicopter carries a bucket of water from a nearby river to the Bolt Creek Fire on Saturday, Sep. 10, 2022, on U.S. Highway 2 near Index, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Red flag fire warning issued west of Cascades

There are “critical fire weather” conditions due to humidity and wind in the Cascades, according to the National Weather Service.

A house fire damaged two homes around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 6, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Photo provided by Marysville Fire District)
Fire burns 2 homes in Marysville, killing 2 dogs

Firefighters responded to a report of a fire north of Lakewood Crossing early Tuesday, finding two houses engulfed in flames.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Mountlake Terrace in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Mountlake Terrace eyes one-time projects for $2.4M in federal funds

Staff recommended $750,000 for a new roof and HVAC at the library, $250,000 toward a nonprofit facility in Lynnwood and more.

The Snohomish River turns along the edge of the Bob Heirman Wildlife Preserve at Thomas’ Eddy on Wednesday, May 3, 2023 in Snohomish, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
To build a healthier Snohomish River, more log jams

About $2.8M in grants will help engineer log jams, tear down levees and promote salmon restoration at Bob Heirman Wildlife Preserve.

Dave "Bronco" Erickson stands next to the pink-and-purple 1991 Subaru Justy hatchback “Pork Chop Express” car that he is seeking to re-home for $500. The car has been on Whidbey Island for years, mainly as yard art. (Andrea Brown / The Herald)
For sale: Whidbey’s fabled ‘Pork Chop Express’ gets great smileage

Asking price is $500 for the 1991 Subaru Justy, a three-cylinder econobox with 65K miles and a transmission as rare as hen’s teeth.

Most Read