Investigation continues into death of DNR diver off Bainbridge Island

The investigation will continue this week into the death of a diver from the Department of Natural Resources who perished while conducting geoduck sampling near Restoration Point July 24.

David D. Scheinost, 24, of Puyallup died while diving off of South Beach early last week.

A geoduck compliance diver, he had been underwater with another diver from the Department of Natural Resources's Aquatic Resources Division as part of a four-man dive team that was sampling for paralytic shellfish poisoning on the Restoration Point geoduck tract.

Scheinost went missing during the afternoon dive, and a massive search-and-rescue effort involving police, emergency responders and the Coast Guard was launched in an attempt to find him. His body was recovered late Friday.

The Bainbridge Island Police Department is investigating the death, and Commander Sue Shultz said an autopsy was planned for Monday. The department is being assisted by marine officers from Pierce County in the investigation.

State officials said the diving operation was routine, and that sampling usually takes about 5 to 10 minutes.

Sampling for paralytic shellfish poisoning has been conducted on a weekly basis every Monday, and toxicologists discovered higher-than-normal levels of PSP at the Manzanita and Restoration Point geoduck tracts on the Monday that Scheinost went missing.


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