Port Gamble Bay diver remains in ICU
August 9, 2012 · Updated 2:37 PM
LITTLE BOSTON — A 46-year-old man remains in critical condition at Harborview Medical Center, after being pulled from the water unconscious from in Port Gamble Bay Aug. 7.
According to Harborview spokeswoman Susan Gregg, the man is on life support, not breathing on his own.
“He’s pretty sick,” she said.
The incident followed “an apparent diving mishap,” according to North Kitsap Fire & Rescue spokeswoman Michele Laboda.
The man was airlifted via Airlift Northwest helicopter from Bainbridge Island.
NKF&R crews were called to Point Julia just before 11 a.m. Aug. 7 after a dive boat crew reported they were coming ashore with an unconscious male on board.
Persons aboard the vessel started CPR, and told firefighters the man had been harvesting geoducks about 33 feet deep in the water when the incident occurred, Laboda reported. Initial reports said he was underwater for 30 minutes.
Medics were able to stabilize the patient and Airlift Northwest was called to take the man to Harborview.
It is still unknown exactly what happened to the diver. Laboda said once the patient was on the helicopter the case was no longer in NKF&R’s hands.
A man who answered the phones for the Port Gamble S’Klallam Police Department said the department “has no information” for the Herald.
Laboda reported low clouds prevented the helicopter from landing in Little Boston. Rescue crews discussed sending the man to Harrison Medical Center, but did not because it does not have a hyperbaric chamber, which delivers oxygen. Paramedics transported the man to Bainbridge Island, where the chopper was able to land at the Bainbridge Island Fire Department headquarters.
Harborview spokeswoman Leila Gray confirmed the helicopter was unable to land due to visibility. Pilots, she said, must have a minimum visiblity to land.
Gray said it is not uncommon for rescue pilots to find an alternative landing zone.