Overdue diver presumed dead off Bainbridge Island

BAINBRIDGE ISLAND, Wash. - Local emergency personnel have called off the search for the body of a diver who ran into trouble off the southern end of Bainbridge Island and is now presumed dead.

The Kitsap County Sheriff's Office reports that the search was called off Saturday after the current became too dangerous in the area. A private diving company plans to resume the search at slack tide.

The original call for help came in at about 10:30 a.m. Saturday, when the Coast Guard in Seattle was notified of a diver who was about 10 minutes overdue in the area of Blakely Rock, just outside Bainbridge Island's Blakely Harbor.

The 48-year-old recreational diver had been underwater for about 45 minutes when the distress call came in, officials said.

The Coast Guard initiated a search along with other divers who were in the area. Those divers reportedly located the missing diver on the bottom but were unable to bring him up for reasons that were not immediately clear.

Divers and medics with the Seattle Fire Department and Kitsap County fire and rescue groups were then called to the scene to assist, but subsequent efforts to find the diver were unsuccessful.