Crew member of Lummi fishing boat dies off San Juan Island


A Lummi fisher died Thursday, May 9, while diving for sea cucumbers near San Juan Island, according to the San Juan County Sheriff's Office.

Albert B. Hillaire, 47, complained of trouble breathing as he ascended while diving in Griffin Bay about 10:30 a.m. Thursday. When he reached the surface and began climbing the ladder of the Lummi fishing boat, he clutched his chest and fell over backward into the water.

Other crew members rescued him and performed CPR while speeding the boat to shore. They were met by emergency responders, but he couldn't be revived.

Hillaire had the proper equipment for diving and it appeared to be in good working order. He had worked as a commercial diver for about a year, according to the sheriff's office. The death remains under investigation.

Reach Debbie Townsend at or call 715-2280.

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