(Photos by Christopher Boffoli for WSB)
7:47 PM: Continuing coverage from this earlier WSB story: A recovery effort is now under way off Seacrest Pier, after a body was found this evening, believed to be that of the diver who vanished this morning after something went wrong during an advanced class in deep water. Seattle Police tell WSB that the body was spotted by civilian divers who kept looking even after the official effort ended late in the day; police, fire, and Coast Guard crews searched for hours before moving from rescue attempt to recovery effort.
A buoy is in the water, about 100 yards offshore, marking the spot where it was seen; police and fire are coordinating the operation to retrieve the body.
The King County Medical Examiner is there too, since it’s their job to investigate deaths like this.
7:57 PM UPDATE: Our crews at the scene says the body has been brought out of the water and is on board the Seattle Fire Department boat Leschi. The KCME is waiting onshore. They will be the ones to officially announce identification, once it’s made, and once they’re sure next-of-kin know, though that may not be until tomorrow. As mentioned in our first story, our archives indicate this is the first diver death in our area in three years.
8:15 PM UPDATE: The scene is starting to clear; the diver’s body is in the Medical Examiner’s truck, and police/fire crews are wrapping up, more than nine hours after this all began with a call that the diver was in trouble, as detailed in our morning/afternoon coverage.
8:41 PM UPDATE: There’s more information on the SFD “Fire Line” website, including more information on a related incident we’d heard about: A diver in her 50s, one of the civilian/volunteer divers who continued the search, had to be taken to Virginia Mason, where there’s a hyperbaric chamber, because of a medical problem following a quick ascent.
10:47 PM UPDATE: We’ve added video from WSB contributor Christopher Boffoli, who also took the photos in this story. And we’ve found some context on how part of the recovery effort unfolded, in a post by Laura James – whose underwater video has been featured here before – on the Northwest Dive Club message board. She was one of the divers who went down (after another volunteer team spotted the body) and marked the spot so the official recovery team could get there fast.
POSTSCRIPT: Bill Morgan from North Admiral sent three striking images of rescuers at work on Sunday afternoon, and we wanted to share them. First, the Coast Guard in the air:
The Seattle Fire Department, also “in the air,” before there was helicopter support:
And a Seattle Police boat, with divers:
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