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Diver survives drowning accident

Illahee State Park manager Steve Kendall (left) and an unidentified Kitsap County Sheriff’s deputy clear the scene Friday afternoon after a local diver nearly drowned off the shores of the popular dive spot. The woman, 55, was rescued by her diving partner. - Photo by Jesse Beals
Illahee State Park manager Steve Kendall (left) and an unidentified Kitsap County Sheriff’s deputy clear the scene Friday afternoon after a local diver nearly drowned off the shores of the popular dive spot. The woman, 55, was rescued by her diving partner.
— image credit: Photo by Jesse Beals

A 55-year-old Allyn woman was in critical condition Friday at Harrison Hospital following a diving accident at the Illahee State Park dock. As of Monday the hospital had no information on the victim’s condition or whether she had been released.

According to Kitsap County Sheriff’s reports the woman, a certified but novice diver, was diving with her husband and a friend Friday afternoon when she lost control of her regulator and sank about 30 yards from the shore.

According to reports she had followed the friend into the water where they reviewed hand signals. Her husband was on the shore at the time.

The two then went out into about 10 feet of water to submerge.

The victim’s friend noticed the woman had drifted away from him and that the regulator had come out of her mouth. At this point she was panicked and struggled with her friend.

It is unclear whether anxiety played a part in triggering the incident, said KCSO spokesman Deputy Scott Wilson. Deputies however are led to believe there was an equipment malfunction of some sort. KCSO dive experts are examining the equipment to determine whether it was faulty. The friend, who is a certified diver and instructor, inflated her dry suit and the woman was pulled to the shore Wilson said.

Bystanders called 911 at 2:12 p.m. and Central Kitsap Fire & Rescue responded to the scene. When crews arrived they continued to administer CPR to the woman.

Investigators don’t consider the incident suspicious.

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