UPDATE, 4:50 p.m. | The search for a 24-year-old male diver has shifted from a rescue to a recovery mission, said Bainbridge Island Police Department Commander Susan Shultz. Fire Department Assistant Chief Luke Carpenter.
The diver’s team members from the Washington Department of Natural Resources noticed he was in distress before he sank below the water surface, but no one knows yet what went wrong, according to Bainbridge Island Fire Department Assistant Chief Luke Carpenter. He said a team of about 30 initially searched for the diver’s body, but Shultz said after a short break a team of about 15 will resume the search at about 8:30 p.m.
The team was working on routine weekly sampling of waters to check for things such as paralytic shellfish poison near Restoration Point, said Washington Department of Natural Resources spokeswoman Toni Droscher.
Droscher said the Bainbridge Island Police Department will be investigating what may have happened to the diver, whose name is not being released yet.
The Seattle Fire Department also has sent its dive team to help in the search for the diver, who works for the Department of Natural Resources, according to its Twitter account.
Units from the Bainbridge Island Police Department, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Navy, Washington State Patrol and Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office are also assisting at the scene, according to BIFD.