July 27, 2013 at 12:34 PM
Diver presumed dead at Blakely Rock near Bainbridge Island
A search was suspended Saturday afternoon for the body of a scuba diver believed to have died during a recreational dive at Blakely Rock, a small reef in Puget Sound east of Bainbridge Island.
The Bainbridge Police Department boat, about a minute away from the scene, responded to a call around 10 a.m. asking for help finding and rescuing a missing diver, Police Officer Dale Johnson said.
Boats from the Coast Guard, Seattle Harbor Patrol and Seattle Fire Department joined in the search near the rocky island, with divers from the two Seattle departments going into the water, authorities said. The victim was a 48-year-old man, the Seattle Fire Department reported.
The rescue effort became a recovery effort around 11:45 a.m., when searchers concluded the man had died, Fire Department Lt. Sue Stangl said.
Eric Cookson of the Coast Guard said rescue divers at one point located the body of the missing man under the water, “but when they went back for him he was not there.”
Emerald Diving’s website describes Blakely Rock as a good place to find wolf eels, giant Pacific octopus and colorful invertebrates, but notes there can be strong currents.
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