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.