Silverdale man dies in Island Lake

CKFR, Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office paired with multiple other rescue divers quickly assembled to help recover Kevin Davis, who died in Island Lake Tuesday.  Courtesy photo - Courtesy photo
CKFR, Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office paired with multiple other rescue divers quickly assembled to help recover Kevin Davis, who died in Island Lake Tuesday. Courtesy photo
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue, Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office, two Suquamish Police Department divers, U.S. Navy divers and volunteer civilian divers quickly assembled and worked together to locate the body of Kevin M. Davis, 24, who died in the waters of Island Lake, located north of Silverdale, Tuesday evening.

Sheriff’s deputies and CKFR personnel received the initial call reporting a missing swimmer at 5:33 p.m. and the first divers were in the water at 5:53 p.m.

“Everyone arrived within a span of 20 minutes,” said Deputy Scott Wilson, Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office spokesman. “Everything lined up, the right people were on duty at the right time. This just does not normally happen this quickly.”

Davis, his brother, sister-in-law and a family friend were reportedly swimming across a portion of Island Lake to return to their original starting point on the north shore. Davis, wearing goggles and fins, would dive below the surface of the water from time to time. When he did not surface for air at one point, the group went to shore and contacted 911, according to a report.

“At one point in time he didn’t surface for air,” Scott Wilson said. “They momentarily lost track of him and called for help.”

Officials searched Island Lake for almost two hours before locating Davis’s body off of the eastern shore of the lake. U.S. Navy divers found his body at 7:46 p.m. and transported him to the south shore of Island Lake. Davis’s family and friends remained on scene throughout the search.

“As time went on they (family and friends) had to realize that this wasn’t a rescue effort it was a recovery effort,” Scott Wilson said. “It was very tough for the family.”

Davis, an Olympic College graduate, was recently accepted to the University of Washington. Family and friends said he had a history of seizures. He also was reportedly a strong swimmer and very familiar with Island Lake.

“The young man was apparently very familiar with the lake and had been swimming there many times,” Scott Wilson said. “He was reportedly a strong swimmer.”

CKFR Capt. Frank Wilson served as incident commander throughout the Island Lake recovery effort. During Frank Wilson’s 13 years with CKFR, this was his first water recovery.

“That was really the first time I’ve had to do a true, eminent rescue,” the fire captain said.

Frank Wilson oversaw about 35-50 people from different jurisdictions to recover Davis’s body. He was impressed and thankful the operation went smoothly.

“This was a fantastically smooth, multi-jurisdictional operation,” he said. “I couldn’t have asked for anything better. It was almost like working with my own people.”

Frank Wilson also was grateful for the aid of Crista Camp Ministries who provided lifeguards, boats and meals for personnel on scene throughout the evening. Kitsap County Facilities, Parks and Recreation opened the Island Lake Park community center to Davis’s family and friends and established it as the incident command post. Wilson said the operation went smoothly and the help of civilians was greatly appreciated.

“There were no questions asked, just ‘yes sir’ and away they went,” he said.

Investigators are handling Davis’s death as an accidental death and do not believe that criminal activity was involved, according to a report.

“Everything points to a group of responsible people that fell victim to a horrible tragedy,” Frank Wilson said.

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