Man’s death in Hood Canal while diving ruled as accidental

A man who died while diving for geoduck clams in the Hood Canal near Hazel Point Feb. 18 was identified as Patrick J. LaClair by the Kitsap County Coroner’s Office.

The 54-year-old Shelton man’s death was ruled as a “systemic air embolism,” said Kitsap County Coroner Greg Sandstrom.

“You get air in the bloodstream from diving,” Sandstrom said Wednesday. “It’s considered an accidental death.”

When Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue arrived on scene at 4:46 p.m. to help LaClair, he wasn’t breathing and was in full cardiac arrest, said Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue Assistant Chief Jay Lovato. Emergency medical technicians with the Navy were also on scene.

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