Search called off for man missing in Hood Canal and implicated in theft of Sea-Doo watercraft

DUCKABUSH — The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office called off a Hood Canal rescue operation Tuesday after a daylong search for a man suspected of stealing two recreational watercraft.

The fate of the man is unknown.

Undersheriff Ken Sukert did not rule out the possibility that he managed to swim to shore and escape from authorities.

However, investigators on the scene believe that the man’s body might still be in the 45-degree waters of Hood Canal.

A joint-agency rescue team searched the waters off Duckabush after apprehending a second man in connection with the alleged theft of recreational watercraft called jet skis by sheriff’s authorities on Tuesday.

The Coast Guard, Navy and county Sheriff’s Office dispatched boats and helicopters after an early morning call Tuesday from a McDonald Cove resident, who reported hearing calls for help from someone in the water.

Emergency crews responded and subsequently located a 25-year-old Brinnon man who had managed to swim to shore, a sheriff’s report states.

Reportedly calling for help

The man told deputies that a second Brinnon man, 28, was last heard calling for help in the water.

“The two men had entered the water at a nearby residence on two jet skis,” the report states.

“At this time, it is not known if they fell from the jet skis or how they ended up in the water.”

Neither man wore a life jacket, a flotation device or a wet suit, authorities said.

Sheriff’s officials did not release the identities of either man.

But the Sheriff’s Office linked the recovered jet skis to two reported stolen from a nearby residence Tuesday morning.

KOMO-TV reported that the two personal watercraft were of the Sea-Doo brand manufactured by Bombardier Recreational Products Inc.

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