West Seattle diving-accident victim: Award-winning volunteer

Thanks to Diane for sharing the word that the American Red Cross‘s local Facebook page had featured 29-year-old Tareq Saade, who died in a diving accident Sunday off Seacrest. We published his name and a little bit about him yesterday, after the King County Medical Examiner’s Office publicly identified him, but now we have learned more: Stephanie Schoo at the American Red Cross’s local office gave us permission to republish their photo of Mr. Saade, and explained, “The photo was taken last year at a Red Cross volunteer recognition event where Tareq was one of several volunteers recognized for outstanding service.” His Red Cross volunteer work also had been mentioned in comments on an earlier WSB story; Jessica wrote that he had trained to be a first responder. He also was a ham-radio operator, remembered by members of the Capitol Hill Prepares group as an “active member … participating in radio trainings and drills” (thanks to Karen from West Seattle Be Prepared for pointing us to that information). At the end of our Tuesday followup, one of the volunteers who found his body after the official search ended told more of her story; in e-mail correspondence with Johanna Raupe, we had asked her why she and Patricia Gunderson went down after police/fire teams called it off for the night, having searched for more than five hours, after first word that Mr. Saade had disappeared while surfacing after some kind of problem happened during a deep dive with an advanced class. She replied in part, “I’m a diver and a mother. I have both a son and a daughter that are divers as well. … I know how many divers have been lost and never recovered or found maybe years later. The conditions were prime to find him before the marine life came in and before the big exchange happened. I wouldn’t want my children left behind. I could not leave him behind, not if I had the skills to locate him.”

ADDED THURSDAY AFTERNOON: We received a note pointing us to a memorial page set up on Facebook for tributes to, and memories of, Mr. Saade. It also mentions that his memorial is set for this Saturday at Salty’s on Alki.

16 Replies to "West Seattle diving-accident victim: Award-winning volunteer"

  • Debbie February 22, 2012 (2:53 pm)

    Every single story I read about this man gives me goosebumps. Godspeed sir, Godspeed.

  • WTF February 22, 2012 (3:20 pm)

    Never could have been said better, Debbie.

  • Steph in WS February 22, 2012 (3:41 pm)

    I feel so bad for him and his family. RIP. I think what Johanna and Patricia is very heroic. I bet his family feels the same way.

  • mygoodness February 22, 2012 (4:43 pm)

    Heartbreaking reading about the divers that found this body and their dedication to doing it. Aren’t we so lucky to have people who care so much? Thank you for going the extra mile and not leaving him. It’s clear we all lost something losing such a well-trained first responder. Condolences to his family and friends.

  • Kayzel February 22, 2012 (5:45 pm)

    Just when you’re getting way down there about the ignorance and cruelty of your fellow humans, you learn of a story like this. I am so moved and lifted up. We all need to pay it forward in the ways that we are able to.

  • k February 22, 2012 (8:43 pm)


  • Valerie February 22, 2012 (8:59 pm)

    Sounds like Tareq’s passing leaves a very large hole in a lot of lives. My deepest condolences to his family and all who knew him; what a loss.

  • ttt February 22, 2012 (10:19 pm)

    Condolences to his family and friends. Awful to lose good people so young. Johanna and Pat: You were very caring to help his family have closure.

  • NotMe February 22, 2012 (11:17 pm)

    I think our little world has lost a great one. My sincere condolences to his family and friends – and to his fellow divers. Thanks WSB for sharing more about this young man.

  • kdglg February 23, 2012 (1:11 pm)

    So sorry for your loss of Tareq. I did not know him, but there is something about his smile in this photo that is so familiar and warm. Such a loss! It is amazing what the private divers did to find him, though, and it makes me proud to call Seattle home. What a community.

  • Jessy February 23, 2012 (2:43 pm)

    Thank you for posting this. Tareq was a genuine and extraordinary individual. I lover of life and adventure. He was intelligent, kind and funny. He has friends from all over the world who now feel a gap in their hearts.

  • MLD7 February 23, 2012 (3:26 pm)

    Thanks for sharing more about Tareq. I knew him though volunteer work and he deserves to be recognized and remembered by the people he served, even if many didn’t know him.

  • Steve February 23, 2012 (3:43 pm)

    I met Tareq a couple of years ago in the Redmond CERT training. He was an amazing person, always positive and willing to lend a hand. A true inspiration to everyone. RIP Tareq.

  • Nayla February 23, 2012 (8:59 pm)

    Tareq will always be remembered by all of us who had the privilege to know him.
    We wish the good memories of all the amazing work he accomplished in his very short life brings his family peace during this difficult time.

    Our deepest condolences to his family

  • Alex Morcos February 23, 2012 (9:29 pm)

    I knew Tareq as a very smart and nice gentleman. He had a brilliant carrier at Microsoft. I am always told about his smart security program that he developed when he was only 13. I offer my sincere condolences to the Saade family and to the Naders. It is a terrible thing to lose a son at such a young age and I can barely imagine your sorrow. May he rest in peace.

  • Freddy Kasprzykowski February 24, 2012 (7:39 am)

    Tareq was an incredible friend that unfortunately I knew him for just a short period of time. He has just turned 29 and was so happy with his new Luminox watch, a passion we both had. I will never forget the grim in his face while showing it to me. Mine is red, his was white – exactly the same model. He was always in a good mood and I appreciated the time we’ve spent together discussing how to fight cyber crime. You will never be missed my friend, don’t forget you accepted my invitation to go to my marriage ok?

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