A 35-year-old Tulalip man perished following considerable resuscitation efforts from colleagues and responders, in an apparent diving accident near Jefferson Point, south of Kingston’s Appletree Cove.
Others who had been aboard the dive boat told responders that the group had been doing dive training in anticipation of the coming shellfish harvest season when the diver — later identified as Solomon Spencer, a member of the Tulalip Tribe — became entangled in gear underwater and lost his mask. Those on the boat worked to get the diver to the surface after an estimated five minutes, but could not get the man aboard the boat. The group managed to fashion a harness to keep the diver in place while they performed CPR in the water.
A Jan. 5 press release from North Kitsap Fire & Rescue said crews were called around 10 a.m. The caller reported that CPR was already in progress. Within 11 minutes of the initial dispatch, NKF&R crews arrived on the scene in a fire-rescue boat, and lifted the man aboard. Crews continued CPR while speeding back to the Kingston Marina, but resuscitation efforts proved unsuccessful.
On Monday, Ken Dickinson with the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office said KCSO had been leading a combined investigation which included the Tulalip Tribe and the Coast Guard. An official with the Kitsap County Coroner’s office said on Thursday that the death was determined to be accidental drowning, following an autopsy on Tuesday.
In 2004, a 56-year-old Suquamish man died while scuba diving in Appletree Cove. Dale Reed had been diving to retrieve a lost anchor and while swimming back to his boat, Reed called for his wife to throw him a rope. After an unsuccessful throw, Reed lost consciousness.
—Nick Twietmeyer is a reporter with Kitsap News Group. Nick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org