Coast Guard searching for missing, experienced diver near Washington’s Cape Flattery

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Looking south from Cape Flattery, Washington, the northwest-most point in the continental U.S. (Photo: Wikimedia.commons)

NEAH BAY, Wash. — The Coast Guard was searching for a missing 61-year-old female diver off Duncan Rock near Cape Flattery on the northwest Washington coast Tuesday.

Lynn Flaherty started the dive with her husband, the Coast Guard said, and they were scheduled to resurface together at about 11:15 a.m. But she failed to surface.

She was wearing a dry suit and reportedly has 1,200 dives worth of experience, the guard said.

A watchstander at Coast Guard Sector Puget Sound received a report of the missing diver at 11:25 a.m., the guard said, and immediately directed the launch of search crews from Station Neah Bay and Air Station Port Angeles.

A crew aboard a 29-foot Response Boat was first on scene at 11:35 a.m. Crews aboard a 47-foot Motor Life Boat and a MH-65 Dolphin helicopter are also on scene.

“We responded quickly and had crews on scene within 10 minutes of receiving the call,” said Eric Cookson, command duty officer, Sector Puget Sound. “We are saturating the search area, and we are hopeful of a successful outcome.”

The Washington Department of Emergency Management is dispatching dive team from Kitsap County to assist in the search., the guard said, and an air crew from Air Station Astoria, Oregon, aboard an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter is en route as is the Coast Guard Cutter Swordfish, which is en route from the San Juan Islands.

The current water temperature is 57 degrees, and the air temperature is 60 degrees. Searchers have 10 miles of visibility.