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UPDATE | Navy frogmen find body of missing diver

A body believed to be a missing diver was recovered Monday evening by Navy divers brought in to help search for the missing man, the Kitsap County Sheriff's Office announced early Tuesday.

Authorities began searching for Gerard Martin Hall of Central Kitsap on Sunday after he went missing while spearfishing with a friend near the southern shore of Blake Island.

Emergency response units from several agencies, including the Coast Guard and Kitsap County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue (SAR) Unit, converged near where Hall was last seen south of Blake Island and spent Sunday afternoon searching for the diver. The search was suspended around 6 p.m. for safety reasons when the weather deteriorated.

Kitsap authorities asked for the Navy's help in finding the missing man on Monday. Sixteen divers from Naval Base Kitsap – Bangor and from Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Division Keyport, responded to assist.

The recovered body was turned over to the Kitsap County coroner in Manchester Monday night.

The sheriff's office said that though the body is believed to be Hall, the coroner will be responsible for confirming the identity of the deceased and for determining the cause and manner of death.

The investigation into the diver’s death by sheriff’s detectives is ongoing, the sheriff's office said.

An autopsy is planned by the county’s forensic pathologist, and the diving equipment that was used by the deceased diver will also be examined by experts to determine if an equipment malfunction was a factor in the death.

 

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