Diver died of heart attack; memorial service Aug. 29

LITTLE BOSTON — A man who died after returning from a dive near Point Julia Wednesday afternoon died of a heart attack, the Kitsap County Coroner’s Office reported.

According to Cook Family Funeral Home, Rudolph M. Purser Jr. was born on Sept. 4, 1949 and was 63. He was a member of the Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe.

Memorial service is scheduled for Aug. 29, 1 p.m., in the Port Gamble Tribal Gym in Little Boston. Memorial contributions can be made to the Port Gamble Tribal Hunters Safety Gun Club.

According to crew members, Purser had been diving with surface-supplied air for about 70 minutes when he signaled his intent to surface. He climbed aboard the boat and was removing his gear when, after saying that he didn’t feel well and, sitting down, he lost consciousness. His colleagues called 911, started CPR and quickly transferred Purser to a smaller vessel that could reach shore faster than the larger boat.

North Kitsap Fire & Rescue crews arrived at the boat launch at Point Julia about eight minutes after being dispatched and attempted to resuscitate Purser for another 40 minutes, but their efforts weren’t successful, NKF&R spokeswoman Michele Laboda reported.

Purser’s wife, Sharon, is an executive assistant at the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe and assisted with the history book, “The Strong People: A History of the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe.”

According to the book, Mr. Purser was a Navy veteran who served three tours in Vietnam. He was later a standout on Little Boston’s baseball team. Shana Smith, manager of the company town of Port Gamble, said she remembers when Purser worked at the mill, which closed in 1995.



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